6 questions for the media about the Soho anti-prostitution raids

On the night of December 4th police raided sex worker’s flats in Soho, London. Immigrant women were taken into custody, and the cops brought along the news media to take photos. The explanation for the arrests that the cops gave the media was that these women were the victims of trafficking. There wasn’t another perspective represented in the press coverage I saw. Which brought up a few questions I’d like to ask the media:
 

  1. Does your obsession with telling “both sides of the story” not extend to non-cop perspectives on the anti-sex worker raids in Soho?
  2.  

  3. No seriously, did you ever think about asking a sex worker about the raids?
  4.  

  5. Does it make sense to you that the cops brought you in to photograph the perp walks of women who held up their hands to cover their faces from your cameras when these arrests were supposedly about protecting trafficking victims?
  6.  

  7. When you hear a quote like this:

    “This is not about the prosecution of prostitutes, this is about making the area safe. We do know a lot of the women are trafficked or are vulnerable so this is about taking the danger out of Soho.”

    Does that not lead to a follow up question about how many trafficking victims there were? Does that not sound like the most vague quote ever, designed to paint all the arrested sex workers as trafficking victims without actually giving any information about whether any of this has anything to do with trafficking at all?

  8. And seriously, why would you be there photographing the perp walks of the victims of trafficking and rape? (I could ask this question a million times.)
  9.  

  10. Did you bother to ask what was being done for these supposed trafficking victims, who had places to work collectively and could now be out on the street, as the English Collective of Prostitutes points out?
  11.  

    Jos Truitt Jos Truitt is embarrassed by the press.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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