Desiree Alliance 2.0

Since this year’s conference is going to be a week-long event, I know that many sex workers/conference attendees will be Tweeting/blogging/whatevering about their time in Las Vegas. For those who want to follow what’s going on from their own computer, I encourage everyone who is attending DA and publicizing it to add their names and links in the Comments section below.

$pread: Raids and the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church

By Monica Shores. Cross-posted from $pread magazine’s new blog. Check it out!

When, in response to charges of pedophilia, Belgian police conducted search and seizures in Church offices and the home of a former bishop, the Vatican released a statement expressing “shock” and “indignation” over the act. To make the situation even more surreal, Church officials claimed, “there are no precedents for this, not even under communist regimes.”

This is awfully strange, since the Catholic Church has been and is a proponent of raids in response to human trafficking concerns. In 2002, one Catholic-run Northern Indian ashram carried out 10 raids. When it comes to activity in the United States:

“Catholic Institutions are increasingly involved in the identification of trafficking victims and intervening on their behalf […] Of the approximately 300 victims of trafficking identified in the U.S. since the passage of the legislation on trafficking, the Catholic Church brought almost 200 of them to the attention of U.S. authorities.”

A discussion of the many problematic aspects of raids took place on the $pread blog in its earlier incarnation, and hopefully those posts will be available again soon. In the meantime, Furry Girl recently plucked a great quote that illustrates one of the many issues with raids-as-rescue-tool:

“The problem with raids is that you have the people who want to rescue women and children who are in prostitution, using the oppressive arms of the state – the most oppressive arm of the state, which is the police – to conduct this ‘rescue operation’ through a raid. […]  The community is never ever going to respond to anybody who is bringing in the police to rescue them, because they do not view that as a ‘rescue’.  They view that as another oppressive thing that’s done to them.”

According to Pope Benedict, raids are “deplorable”—but apparently only when the Church itself is on the raided end.

Monica Shores