A “Prostitution Free Zone” for the Inauguration

It was just one month ago that sex workers from around the United States converged on Washington, DC for the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Now, with the excuse of preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, “portions of downtown [DC] have been declared a ‘Prostitution Free Zone’ for the Inaugural celebration period,” according to DCist.

Different Avenues and a coalition of DC-based advocates, including the Best Practices Policy Project and Alliance for a Safe & Diverse DC, released a report this summer on the discriminatory practice of the “Prostitution Free Zones,” detailing how anyone — usually transgender women and women of color — walking in these “zones” can be targeted for harassment and detention by law enforcement.

I don’t think any sex workers expected to feel welcomed by the incoming Obama administration — and though we don’t know exactly where the pressure came from, this aggressive move by DC law enforcement only reinforces that. (Besides, honestly, aren’t most of the pols & media types in town hiring sex workers by word-of-mouth these days? Unless after Spitzer they’ve all decided it’s safer to trick on the streets. Too bad for them.)

(Photo by Jason Cragg, via DCist)

8 Responses

  1. This was good copy, Melissa. I’m all about standing behind sex workers.

  2. […] A “Prostitution Free Zone” for the Inauguration […]

  3. This reminds me of show I just saw on the History Channel called ‘more sex during the civil war’.

    The ‘women’s order’, issued by the occupying union officer to the ladies of New Orleans. The women took to acts of disrespect, one being ‘gathering up their skirts’ when the occupying union forces went by as an insult, among other things. The order threatens the women with being treated as prostitutes if they didn’t stop treating the occupying union officers with contempt.

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/butlerwomanorder.htm

  4. […] A “Prostitution Free Zone” for the Inauguration « Bound, Not Gagged "It was just one month ago that sex workers from around the United States converged on Washington, DC for the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Now, with the excuse of preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, 'portions of downtown [DC] have been declared a "Prostitution Free Zone" for the Inaugural celebration period,' according to DCist." (tags: sexwork prostitution discrimination inauguration sexworkersrights bullshit) […]

  5. Here’s the hateful enforcement. they sure don’t care about equal protection for prostitutes that we’d be needing as a result of this hate speech.

    http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1238,q,560843.asp

  6. There is an end date of 1/25/09 on the flyer. Does that mean that the workers can hit the streets on 1/26?

  7. Is it wrong of me to want one? The poster I mean, not the prostitute-free zone.

  8. hell no girl go get one. Go get several . They are evidence of our civil rights violation. It has to go in the museum of oppression.

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