On Wednesday, June 13, members of the Occupy movement protested against a conference dedicated to combatting child sex trafficking — thus, the Occupiers in essence were coming out in favor of one of society’s most loathsome moral crimes.
The protesters mostly were members of Occupy Oakland Patriarchy, a group within the overall Occupy movement tasked with overthrowing our civilization’s “patriarchy.”
The conference which so infuriated them was called HEAT Watch, short for the National Human Exploitation And Trafficking Watch Conference.
If there’s one issue that unites Americans of all political stripes, it’s the sexual enslavement of children. Whatever our opinions on other issues, we all agree that sex trafficking and the prostituting of children is an outrage and a tragedy. Thus, conference attendees included liberal, moderate and conservative politicians; progressive nonprofit organizations; law enforcement groups; religious leaders; and (according to the conference Web site) “social services, medical providers, mental health, education, probation, and community-based organizations.” In short: Everybody.
Everybody, that is, except Occupy Wall Street, who somehow found a way to oppose the abolition of child sexual slavery. In order to justify this seemingly incomprehensible and repugnant position, the Occupiers performed some of the most amazing moral gymnastics you’ll ever encounter. I’ll give them a lot of room to explain themselves in a moment, but first let’s get a glimpse of the conference, the protest, a small counter-protest, and the completely bizarre behavior of the Occupiers.
The first thing passersby encountered was not the conference nor even the protest but instead this one-man counter-protest. He alone had the cojones to come out and oppose the Occupiers with his own confrontational counter-narrative: “Defend the Children from the Occupy Molesters.” I imagine his point was that, by espousing the practice of child prostitution, the Occupiers are morally responsible for their molestation; though perhaps his accusation was more direct and literal — hard to say.
He had also written a very large warning in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the venue; it was so big that I couldn’t capture it all in one photo, so I stitched together two images to reveal the full sentence: “Counter-demonstration: Defend Child Sex Traffic Conf. from Occupy Molesters.” Since in this version we’re asked to defend the conference (rather than the children) from the Occupiers, one can safely assume that his accusation was more metaphorical than literal.
Around the corner, the Occupiers assembled at the side entrance of the convention venue, the Marriott Hotel inside the Oakland Convention Center on Broadway.
The Occupy narrative was very convoluted and can’t be coherently summarized in just a few images — in fact, they remained pretty incoherent even with all the space in the world to explain themselves — but we’ll get started with a few of their signs. This one said “End Police Terror Against Minor + Adult Sex Workers.” This is based on the Prime Directive of Occupy Oakland’s worldview: The police are mankind’s #1 enemy. Cops are invariably malevolent, and their actions always rank as “terror.”
Building block #2 for the Occupy argument: Rescuing an immigrant girl from a lifetime of sexual slavery at the hands of an evil pimp counts as “racism.”
Hell, why am I even bothering with this? When you act as the Occupiers did at this protest, your violent aggressive behavior trumps any message you may have had. After protesting on the sidewalk for a while, the Occupiers went berserk and staged a full-frontal assault on the conference. The security guards somehow managed to repel the invasion, as the Occupiers then hurled paint-bombs, bottles of unknown liquid, eggs and other projectiles at the hotel. Amazingly, they were so proud of all this that they uploaded their own video of the assault:
Sorry, Occupiers: All your credibility is lost after antics like that.
Meanwhile, inside the conference itself, everything remained calm. The event announcement board nonchalantly listed the conference among other meetings at the hotel.
Most everyone was attending various sessions, so the lobby was pretty empty.
Many of the booths had heartbreaking displays. What form of political psychopathy would lead someone to oppose the abolition of child slavery? The Occupy movement has always been its own worst enemy; has it now become society’s worst enemy as well?
Back out at the protest, one thing became clear: Occupy Oakland seems to have developed a burning hatred for “NGO”s, i.e. non-governmental organizations, better known in the U.S. as “do-gooder nonprofits.” While there may be a few suspect NGOs with ill intentions, the vast majority exist only to help people. Whether or not that help does any good is a separate issue; but most at least try to benefit society.
But in the Occupy universe, any NGOs which cooperate with the “pigs” are nothing more than a “racket.” Which means those folks trying to end the sexual enslavement of children are villains. The Bay of Rage site’s official announcement for the protest clearly spelled out the Occupy position in this dispute:
This is What Patriarchy Looks Like:
The H.EAT. conference is a conference of pigs and their nonprofit lackeys to increase the harassment, imprisonment, marginalization and criminalization of sex workers. Fronting as a conference against “child trafficking,” this conference brings pigs and nonprofits together to develop policing strategies that line their pockets while leaving sex workers exploited and disempowered. Pigs and nonprofits hide behind lies about “safety” and “protection” while they profit off the incarceration and “reformation” of sex workers. These pigs and nonprofits neurotically plug their ears to the fact they themselves are exactly the reason sex work can exist. Sex work, like all forms of work, can only exist within a society based on hierarchical economic systems like capitalism, which are protected by the police and patronizing reformist organizations that keep exploited people from revolting. The pigs are the enemies of sex workers, and of all workers.
Let’s shut this fucker down!!!!!
Do you agree with this view?
“Sex workers sell our bodies for $ — NGO’s sell their souls for $$.”
“Molotovs not NGOs” reads this sign which encourages violence to defend the practice of child prostitution.
The protesters’ main banner said “Fucking to survive is life under capitalism.” This succinctly sums up the nearly incomprehensible cognitive dissonance at the core of the Occupy Oakland Patriarchy philosophy. They manage to hold two mutually exclusive thoughts simultaneously:
1. We are sex workers and proud of it, and there is nothing wrong with prostitution, so stop oppressing us with your prudish laws; and
2. The only reason we are compelled to have this degrading and unpleasant profession is that capitalism forces people to exchange labor for money — only a total anti-capitalist revolution can put an end to prostitution.
Now, needless to say, one would go insane trying to maintain both these ideas at the same time, which is apparently what has happened to the members of Occupy Oakland Patriarchy.
But don’t take my word for it. I will now give them a chance to explain their position. Here is the flyer that the protesters were handing out to passersby:
Read the whole thing if you’re interested in trying to grasp where Occupy is coming from on this issue. The back side of the flyer continues here…:
While the flyer tries to present a somewhat mollified explanation for their opposition to the conference, the protesters’ violent actions and in-your-face signs tell a different story.
This was my favorite sign of all: “Get those fucking fuckers out of my Fuck.”
Another protester dispensed with words entirely and summed up her position by displaying on her back an anatomical chart of a vagina and reproductive system. And here I thought the whole point of the feminist movement was to elevate women beyond just being “a life support system for a pu**y.” Guess I misunderstood.
The protest was mostly female, but there were some men there as well, including these two: One with an Occupy Oakland/Anonymous shirt, and another with a pit bull on a leash and a shirt that said “Destroyer.”
“FTP” is a such a common acronym in Occupy parlance that it doesn’t even need to be explained any more. For the uninitiated: Fuck The Police.”
This guy was hanging around the protest making snide comments, though I couldn’t tell if he was an official Occupier or just a hanger-on. Anyway, here’s a sample of the kind of things he was saying about the people in the conference:
“The people in the conference are the molesters and they’re projecting. That’s what I think: I think the people in the conference are molesters, and are projecting.”
Here’s one of the flyers I picked up inside the conference.
You tell me: Are these people the molesters?
Before the attack on the hotel, the protesters gathered to give some speeches, but they seemed to focus mostly on how everyone within a 500 foot radius was either a police spy or an FBI agent. Group paranoia?
Back out on Broadway, the lone counter-protester stood in his silent vigil, never saying a word.
The following links are for those interested in further exploring the Occupy justification for this protest:
The “Put the Heat on the H.E.A.T. Conference” Facebook page functions as the official site of record for the protest. As you can see, the Occupiers are quite pleased with how it turned out.
The protesters’ own post-protest report can be viewed at Bay of Rage, and really needs to be seen to be believed; “unapologetic” doesn’t quite capture the zeitgeist. Here are a few quotes from the report — click the link to read the whole thing:
Whores get revenge
On Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, queers and hookers and other bad bitches fucked up the H.E.A.T. Watch conference. H.E.A.T. Watch is an ongoing campaign facilitated by the Alameda County District Attorney, The City of Oakland, the OPD, and a few select piece-of-shit non-profits.
We set out with the intentions of shutting the fucker down and started the event with the distribution of some dope literature, some inflammatory speeches, the harassment of mainstream media and of course, the all-out taunting of the police. It got taken a step further when the crowd attempted to enter the lobby of the Marriott Convention Center. This all resulted in a rumble with the pigs, the vandalized facade of the convention center entrance with eggs and paint, and a march to and from Oscar Grant Plaza. We would say that this was a nice way to spend an afternoon and, for a brief moment, fulfilled our goal of shutting the fucker down.
To our enemies the DA Nancy O’Malley, the christian scum bag Linda Smith and all the pigs and other such trash attending the conference: this is only a small taste of what some pissed off hoes are capable of. We acknowledge your invitation of war against sex workers and all those subjugated by the continued existence of capital. Bring it on motherfuckers.
Bitches who will fuck you up.
The PostWhoreAmerica blog features an embedded video from the local ABC affiliate, which was one of the few media outlets to cover the protest as well; the report shows just how demented the Occupiers acted, and is well worth a view. You can also watch it here, directly on the ABC site.
More photos from the protest can be seen at IndyBay, but they don’t allow incoming links, so paste this URL into a new browser window: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/13/18715357.php
The San Francisco Bay Guardian featured a long story about the conference and the protest, and tried to walk an impossibly thin tightrope of not condemning either side.
And if you want to go deep into the rabbit hole, the All Voices site spins a disturbing theory that there may be a connection between this protest and a major fire that shut down the BART system later that night.
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