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Sex Worker Solidarity Activists Protest at H.E.A.T Conference, Oakland, 6/13/12: video
Similar to how the law enforcement-centric policies in the "war on drugs" contribute to more social harms than good, the burgeoning anti-sex worker industry further criminalizes and marginalizes those already struggling to survive while largely ignoring the root causes of sexual exploitation. In what might have been the first action organized against an anti-trafficking conference in the U.S., Oakland Occupy Patriarchy initiated a protest on June 13th targeting the 2012 National Human Exploitation And Trafficking conference on its opening day in Oakland. (video below)
[Pictured above: First speaker addresses protesters in front of the Oakland Convention Center]
Protesters rallied and spoke outside of the conference before attempting to gain entry, thereby making their presence known with the use of an air horn through the main entrance of the convention center. A small army of convention center employees forced the doors closed, including two that physically shoved demonstrators away from the doors. Oakland police, who had been apparently lying in wait in anticipation of the protest, rushed up to defend the metal barricades surrounding the main entrance to the convention center. Demonstrators then marched up Broadway to 14th Street before briefly returning to the convention center and dispersing of their own accord.
At least one arrest was made after the demonstration concluded when Melvin of Occupy Oakland's Tactical Action Committee was snatched by police on a side street. His arraignment is set for Friday at 2pm.
For more photos and information about the demonstration, see:
Sex Worker Solidarity Activists Protest at H.E.A.T Conference, Oakland, 6/13/12: photos