Supporters of “the equality model” allies itself with anti-lgbtq, anti-abortion, anti-surrogacy groups, anti-mixed race families [And pro POLICE/ICE]
From the very beginning the coalition worked with bigoted organizations and people who are opposed to basic human rights.
They have gone from calling their policy the Nordic model (highlighting that it did partially criminalize & would increase police/prisons/bodies behind bars), but now they are appropriating the language of their opponents claiming the label "decriminalization", despite the fact that they are opposed to this.
The language around this is scary because it shows their hatred is starting to intensify. While they claim 90% of prostitutes are sex trafficking victims, that doesn't align with the work Alexi Meyers has been doing with Sanctuary for Families which gets most of it's clients/victims from the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts from police sting and low level charges. Sanctuary For Families like the Salvation Army (which they work with), are working with local law enforcement and making profits from it.
The language alone is very telling "decriminalization of prostitution". Notice that they use criminalized and stigmatized terms to describe the victims/people they claim to care about. They are purposely playing dog whistle politics here.
The images above are from March 11, 2019 which was to launch their nobuyernopimpny. Gloria Steinem (who was a CIA agent) was a big promoter of this event, and continues to promote the criminalization of sex workers. These supporters are trying to do everything they can to appear to be a organic grassroots coalition. But it's very clear the people supporting it are largely the same (while constantly changing terms, and lying to the public). You'll find that they often fly the same people state to state, or will fly supporters from other countries. Most of their supporters are not from the states they seek to influence and push more criminalization policy. The most notable group was ObjectUK a United Kingdom organization that held a sign in the group with the words "No to sex trade, surrogacy, and transgenderism".
News reports about the protest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Many of the groups didn't have a problem with them being there, and many of these groups and individuals do feel this way. People should be challenging them on their views on surrogacy, abortion, and trans people AND compare them to what the organization supports and does.
In a 2013 piece for Reason, Melissa Gira Grant, an author and senior staff reporter at The Appeal, cited Melissa Farley, a longtime anti-sex work advocate and researcher who has summed up her camp's position by calling sex work "paid rape."
In the Vice article Sonia Ossorio, the president of NOW's New York City chapter claims "I don't see a divide. We agree on the biggest part—we don't want to arrest sex workers."
This is gas lighting. It goes against the reality that they support policy that get profits and clients from police, they work with police, they train them. We continue having this conversation with journalists who take their word for it, while ignoring the fact that these people have very real institutional power and are a part of the criminal justice system. Little to no attempts are made to examine what they currently do within the system. For the most part the media believes everything they say, becoming a mouthpieces for "moral" criminalization entrepreneurs. It also ignores that they actively fight to avoid sex workers while sex workers and DecrimNY have been open to having open and unbiased events with them. They have refused. This is passive aggressiveness to hide how violent the policies they support truly are.
One of the organization that Sanctuary for Families (and all the other supporters of the equality model) have been allied with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army has a long history with the white slave traffic/white slavery narratives of the late 1800s and 1900s. They used it to help criminalize homosexuality, immigration, sex work, drugs, and alcohol. In fact, the Salvation Army is part of the Temperance Movement.
They follow the same model of working law enforcement while claiming *no sex worker will be arrested* (they have been doing this for years, the Salvation Army has been doing this for over a century). They are targeting migrant communities.
Going after Massage Parlors is like going after Taco Trucks. They are targeting migrants for arrest, imprisonment, family separation, and deportation.
They are glossing over the fact that this policing is radicalized and classiest. Similarly the Salvation Army works with law enforcement and they target the border and urban areas for police violence. This is the exact same thing Trump does when he talks about trafficking at the border, and "inner cities". It's dog whistle politics. Just like the Salvation Army, Sanctuary for Families doesn't believe in "handouts" and partners to create "economic empowerment programs that puts criminalized people into service level jobs. And this is only if they can manage to avoid arrest, jail, a criminal record, loss of funds, property, or deportation.
This year the Salvation Army hosted an event to ensure the criminalization of sex work, Sancturary for Families Yvonne Chen that has been working with vice division of NYPD (the same division that used condoms as evidence against sodomy and anti-sex worker laws and created an epidemic of HIV in those communities). It's important to note that vice division is rebranding itself as the "human trafficking division and is training many domestic violence shelters to target sex workers. Other people on the panel were BRIAN G. GANDERSpecial Agent, Criminal Division, New York Field Office
LT. DETECTIVE DONNA GAVINBoston Police Department
CHRIS MULLERDirector of Training and External Affairs for Restore NYC
Restore NYC is a social enterprise that partners with local companies that puts criminalized migrants to work for low level waged jobs. Their reports puts the earnings at $1200/a month. The CEO makes 6 figures. These programs are similar to what the Salvation Army and Sanctuary for Families has.
Many of the organizations they are aligned with don't believe in contraceptives, teaching sex ed, or abortions. Various organizations they partner with see nothing wrong with denying abortion rights to rape victims or sex trafficking victims.
Another "expert" on human trafficking is Cindy McCain. She believes a police state is great for victims of abuse and encourages predominately privileged people to call the police on marginalized people. This has led to her calling the police on a mixed race family...because she *felt* it didn't look right. News reports 1, 2, 3
These kinds of attacks are normalized and viewed as good intentioned. But calling the police on people is inherently a violent act. Especially if it is done without the consent or legal representation of the perceived victim first. Especially if it is done because privileged white people *feel uncomfortable* about diversity and minorities. Police have a high rate of violence, and arrest rates against minorities, and migrants. These kind of phone calls against them has a chilling effect on deteriorating any trust they could ever have of reporting any violence or abuse done to them. These groups in doing this are adding to persecution of minorities, while blaming abusers for their mistrust of police, and the system.
It's important to understand that these kinds of narratives are not new. In the past the Salvation Army was involved in the criminilization of homosexuality and prostitution. They blamed both of these groups for teens and children having to work to survive in the system they created and upheld. To prove it they cheered and celebrated a journalist (non sex worker, and cis heterosexual) that raped a child and posted the details in the news. It was called the Eliza Armstrong Case. Originally the journalist went to a poor neighborhood to prove that these communities are raping or enslaving children. Thankfully other news outlets went around and asked questioned and exposed him as the pedophile himself. Even when he was charged, Evangelicals and the Salvation Army praised him as a martyr and as innocent. That's how much they hated sex workers and gay people.
Even SESTA/FOSTA which these organizations all supported has caused LGBTQ, sex woker, and sex ed content to be eliminated, shadowbanned, censored, demonetized, and heavily policed.