Occupy protests human trafficking and child exploitation conference, calls it “repressing sex workers”
This is one that will have to be seen to be believed.
Occupy has often been unfocused and all over the map with the things they protest, so much so that the original thought, whatever that was, seems to have been lost. Of course, the true purpose was always to get people into the streets.
But today, in Oakland, they protested against a human trafficking conference. Yes, you read that right. They pulled down police barriers and vandalized the front doors of the conference.
Demonstrators called themselves “Occupy Patriarchy” and apparently local news recognized people who were involved in the “FTP”(Fuck the police) marches that Occupy Oakland has had.
ABC News noted:
An interview we were conducting was interrupted by protestors using bullhorns to blast us down repeatedly, accusing us of being part of a larger conspiracy to assist police.
Inside, more than 430 registered guest and 70 presenters were meeting to discuss ways to end human trafficking and the exploitation of children. A crime, organizers say, that is on the rise and the victims even younger.
“The average is now, what we’re looking at about 13 years old, but we do have some kids who have come in as young as 11,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.
Protesters were not interested in listening:
They say that this conference is just a launching pad for continued repression of sex workers and the further empowerment of police agencies at their expense.
“What we’re saying is that if you really want to help these people, this is not the way to do it,” said demonstrator Catilin Manning. “If you really want to help these people figure out where the traffickers are coming in. Maybe you should police the port.”
The HEAT (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign has been successful; in Alameda County alone has had more than 250 prosecutions and 180 successful convictions.
According to ABC, the conference runs through Friday and “the anarchists plan to return”. See ABC report and video here