The NY “Pink Scare,” Part Two

Landing on the airstrip at La Guardia, back from Chicago’s Desiree Alliance conference, I overheard one classic Bloombergian welcome back to New York: the NYPD staged a violent“prostitution” bust at Lou’s, also known as the Hot Lap Dance Club, a private loft club in Midtown Manhattan, and arrested another handful of New York’s sex workers.

The raids began this year, to my knowledge, with Scores West in late January, then hit the escort agency Emperor’s Club VIP in March along with a few others related to then-Governor Spitzer. Then came Dungeon Alley’s sordid back-and-forth in April, followed by Pacha, Marquee and Splash on “drug-related” charges in June – more on the overlap of “anti-gay” and “anti-sex work” later – while the mayoral candidate Eric Gioia’s (D-Queens) called for increased policing on Craigslist.com. Now it’s Lou’s and, always, the mounting casualties from both “street sweeps” and the stepped-up prosecution of e-stings on Eros and Craigslist.

By April, Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK) meant it when we declared the current state of affairs “Pink Scare.”

See: Sex!Work? for the remainder of this workaday rant.

2 Responses

  1. I live in New York, too, William. What can we do about this?

  2. We at SWANK has been trying to figure that out, Susan, our strongest tactic has been media response: letters to the editor, blogging, etc., and we staged a minor protest along with the HLC workers before their questioning by the DA in Manhattan. Also, during the Dungeon Alley busts, certain members of SWANK put on a benefit to fund the legal defense of those arrested on prostitution charges. One former worker at HLC, aka Lou’s, along with SWANKers, has proposed a similar party-fundraiser called “Panty Raid” to raise awareness about this particular bust as well as raise money for legal defense.

    E-mail me at rockwellwill@gmail.com for more information.

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