September 27, 2008

Stop the Campaign of Fear and Intimidation on the Street

Portland Mercury's Sarah Mirk writes about the incident where two 82nd Avenue area residents taking pictures of alleged prostitutes were maced by them. As Mirk correctly points out, there is no proof that the alleged prostitutes were engaging in any illegal activity, and they may be simply responding to the creepy photo-takers stalking them.

Regardless of what one thinks about the prevalence of prostitution on the street, Portland Police Bureau strongly discourages vigilantism. We join them in asking area residents to stop the campaign of fear and intimidation against women on our street, and work toward building compassionate and just responses to prostitution on the street. Some may think that it is a good idea to drive away alleged prostitutes by harassment, but it would only push them to areas they will become more vulnerable to violence and exploitation.

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