The Occupy movement’s hatred for authority is well known. Last fall, Occupy Baltimore was condemned by the heads of three rape crisis centers after they published a pamphlet which seemed to discourage victims from reporting rape to police (preferring instead to handle such accusations as an internal matter). In a similar move last week, a group calling itself Occupy Patriarchy protested a conference against child sex trafficking and suggested that “minors” involved in the “sex industry” would be better off without the intervention of police.
A group called HEAT Watch held a conference for law enforcement and social workers at the Oakland Convention Center last Wednesday. HEAT stands for Human Exploitation and Trafficking, and as you can see by looking at their website, they are primarily focused on preventing the commercial sexual exploitation of children:
The conference is designed to provide those professionals who intersect with children put into the commercial sex trade with the opportunity to identify the complex problems and strategic solutions for responding to CSEC victims, investigations and cases.
This was cause for outrage amongst some Oakland Occupiers, who decided to protest the conference under the name Occupy Patriarchy. Zombie at PJ Media went to the protest and points out this explanation for the decision to rally against a group dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse:
The H.EAT. conference is a conference of pigs and their nonprofit lackeys to increase the harassment, imprisonment, marginalization and criminalization of sex workers. Fronting as a conference against “child trafficking,” this conference brings pigs and nonprofits together to develop policing strategies that line their pockets while leaving sex workers exploited and disempowered. Pigs and nonprofits hide behind lies about “safety” and “protection” while they profit off the incarceration and “reformation” of sex workers. These pigs and nonprofits neurotically plug their ears to the fact they themselves are exactly the reason sex work can exist. Sex work, like all forms of work, can only exist within a society based on hierarchical economic systems like capitalism, which are protected by the police and patronizing reformist organizations that keep exploited people from revolting. The pigs are the enemies of sex workers, and of all workers.
Let’s shut this fucker down!!!!!
Occupiers blame capitalism for everything, including creating “hierarchical economic systems” which leave sex workers “exploited and disempowered.” The rest of the argument, to the degree it can be parsed as one, is that it would be better in the long run to let exploitation go unchecked so people get fed up and revolt. In other words, greater misery for the sexually exploited is good for the Marxist agenda.
In a longer defense of the protest, an unnamed author writes that the idea HEAT Watch and the police (aka “the pigs”) care about the exploitation of children is a “LIE.” Instead, Occupy Patriarchy says it is all part of a plot to crack down on voluntary sex workers. To back up this contention, the author quotes an anonymous writer and underage sex worker:
As someone who turned tricks as a 17 year old in order to save the money necessary to escape an abusive relationship with someone who actually did sexually assault me, I would like to remind everyone that the reasons that people go into the sex industry are diverse and complex. There are differences between ‘children’ and ‘minors’ – and we need to talk about their participation in the sex industry in different ways.
This is obviously a tragic story, if true. But one wonders why this individual didn’t just call the police. Unless there were some very unusual circumstances, wouldn’t that have been preferable to hooking one’s way out of trouble? Not according to Occupy Patriarchy. As with the pamphlet produced in Baltimore last year, the desire to avoid acknowledging authority seems to trump all. It’s a very unhealthy impulse and one that we certainly do not want to spread among children or minors.
The inclusion of the anonymous story and the reference to “reasons that people go into the sex industry” all treat prostitution as a voluntary activity. But that’s sidestepping the real issue of child trafficking, which is definitely not voluntary. The FBI maintains 47 task forces nationwide to combat child sexual exploitation. They have rescued 2,100 children and convicted 1,000 pimps and associates since 2003. Does Occupy Patriarchy really believe these people wish the police had stayed out of their lives and left them and their pimps alone?
But having established their (repulsive) justification for action, about a dozen or so Occupiers turned out at the Convention Center decked out with signs (“End police terror against minor + adult sex workers”). They weren’t there to march peacefully, of course. Instead, they attempted to enter the Convention Center and when security stopped them, resorted to throwing eggs and cursing:
“Stop raping people!” Andrew Breitbart yelled at a group of Occupy protesters at a conservative conference in Washington DC in February. He was pilloried by the left for doing so. They argued he was being unfair to the movement. But what happened with the pamphlet last fall in Baltimore and with the protest in Oakland last week demonstrates that there are people within this movement who see everything, even the rape of women and children, as merely obstacles to their extreme anti-capitalist agenda. There’s no way to reason with people like this. They simply have to be confronted and shamed to whatever degree that is possible. Say it with me: “Stop raping people!”