Backstory: A Neighbourhood “Safety Association” has committed itself to ridding the neighbourhood of sex-trade workers. Their website features the following, presumably new, disclaimer:
WE RECOGNIZE THE RIGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE, AND THIS IS NOT DISCRIMINATORY AGAINST THE SEX-TRADE WORKERS OR TRANS-GENDER SEX-TRADE WORKERS (primarilyat this corner).
Then proceeds to state:
Sex-trade workers should not be operating in such a densely populated area, surrounded by schools and a hospital – surely the residents and students here have a right to surroundings where they can walk, work and live without sex-trade workers and their johns.
I think we’ve got some radically different ideas of what the word “rights” means in those two sentences (emphasis in the second, mine). The attempt to rid the neighbourhood of the property-devaluing menace of sex work has primarily consisted of the harassment of the women, specifically trans women, working in this neighbourhood, and has extended to the point of threats and violence against these women.
Of course, the neighbourhood safety association really has the best interest of women at heart, and while they are concerned with their property values, they are also deeply, deeply concerned about protecting sex workers:
The sex-trade workers themselves are at constant risk from being picked up by johns that intend to do them harm.
So it’s totally in their best interest to walk right into the arms of those who intend to do them harm using different weapons.
Tomorrow night (Friday, August 15th) at 11 pm there will be a protest against this violence and this “solution”. I don’t know if any Torontonians read me, but on the off chance there’s even one of you – just go. Being unfortunately dependent upon public transportation, I can be there only in spirit.