Wednesday, January 30, 2008

more on prostitution and 2010

On Jan 29, 2008, at 8:54 PM, BETTY KRAWCZYK wrote:

Dear Esther,
I have heard all of your arguments before. I was a friend of the woman who first started PEERS in Victoria. My daughter also worked with this organization as a researcher, later moving on to work for SAVE THE CHILDREN. Due to her work there she was later commissioned to write a government report on the subject of aboriginal children and youth and the sex trade. I found her report in the Alouette prison library under the title "Sacred Lives" when I was serving time there just recently for blockading at Eagleridge Bluffs. My daughter continues to do research on women in the drug and sex trades and I have a third book coming out soon on this subject myself entitled OPEN LIVING CONFIDENTIAL. I know enough about this subject to impress upon you that I know a con when I am in contact with one, whether in person or through the mail. If I become mayor I promise you this...what you envision as upper scale brothels serviced by beautiful mature women to cater to upper scale men will never happen.
First, because this category is already being filled by call girls. The second category of men with money want very young girls. The younger the better. Well, lower class men do too, but they have a harder time with it. Do you doubt this? Do you really? So children would be drawn into these brothels no matter how much you protest you wouldn't like it. And if you listened to the aboriginal women such as the woman at Aboriginal Women's Action Network you would think twice before you brag that you have the consent of the women on the East Side. They hate you. Well, certainly they oppose your organization veraciously. It might be because your racism surfaces in your casual assumption that you are working for them, too. They know you don't give a tinker's dam about their lives.
And even if you did, it wouldn't matter because your solution is one of managing (to your advantage of course)a pus pocket in society, not to try to eradicate the wound, much as the way Gordon Campbell tries to manage the downtown east side. As mayor I will insist that every child in this city has a decent place to live, decent food, and decent treatment from the adults entrusted to care for them. I will insist that the billions spent on needless waste like the Olympics be spent on affordable housing and educational programs. I will insist that young people work with me to present a challange to all levels of government that university fees be brought down to a reasonable level, and that we all have the physic space to learn about organic gardening, about conserving waste, and considering how to do with less as we reconnect with nature. I will push for the legalization of marijuana which seems to be a rather innocuous herb compared to alcohol as this would curb much of the crime and violence in the city and fund long term drug treatment programs for hard core addicts. I will push for the age of consent to be raised to sixteen at least, and I will work for a society where men and women can come together as equals, not as one in a position of sexual servitude to the other. Yes, there will be much to do as Mayor, much to champion, but consenting to the sexual servitude of children and women will not be one of them. But you say a mayor can't do all of these things I claim? I quote the poet Goethe... "whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Begin it now. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." Betty Krawczyk

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2010 and Prostitution

This letter is in answer to a letter I received from a woman named Esther Shannon who is working in Vancouver to legalize prostitution in time for the Olympics.

Dear Esther,
Thank you for your letter. I see we are so far apart on the issue of prostitution that consensus is impossible except for one thing...we both believe that girls and women should not be mistreated. In my opinion prostitution not only mistreats girls and women (also little boys) but degrades them. I probably know as many prostitutes as you do. I meet them in prison. Lots of them. I hear their stories. All of their stories, without exception, originate in poverty.

If you are truly a friend of children and women then we should both be working to abolish poverty. And let's not forget that the age of consent in this county is fourteen years. If men's market demand for younger and younger prostitutes were completely legalized, how long do you think it would take for the half hidden kiddie strolls in Vancouver to mushroom into a growth industry? Like well publicized legal kiddie brothels? Like Indonesia? Parts of India? Pimps already haunt Vancouver school grounds, even elementary schools. Is this the message that we want to send to young women, that prostitution is a perfectly reasonable career for women? We know, at least I know, that prostitution is riddled with crime, drugs, and violence. All of the prostitutes that I have met or know about are addicted to drugs and most became addicted while still children. Pimps addict them early. Then they eventually wind up on the street, then prison. When any group of women and children are so degraded then the entire society is degraded. In your discourse you speak of adult women having the right to make rational choices for themselves but you don't mention that most were pushed into the business as children. And many foreign prostitutes are actual slaves kept in bondage by fear of being beaten and deported or even killed.
You want to be seen as championing the right of women to prostitute themselves if they like, but what you are really championing is the right of men to regard women and children as things. Women and children are not things even if they consent to be treated as things for money. I am originally from Louisiana where Black people were legally treated as things for many years. And some Black people even thought of themselves as things and consented to be treated as such. But they were not things, none of them. And the day came when it was apparent they were not things, apparent both to themselves, and to the world. This is what I work for, the day when all women and children, everywhere, and men, too, will be protected by their societies, not treated as things to be traded. And that day will come. I am sure of it. There is an awakening happening in many people, both men and women, that is exciting and wonderful. It is the very antithesis of the notion of prostitution. It is the call to social consciousness and environmental responsibility. It is the call to adulthood. Betty Krawczyk
PS In my opinion, both Libby Davis and Sam Sullivan have made a serious political mistake by hopping on your band wagon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


That you haven’t “gone over to the other side”. That you are not going to hold hands with Gordon Campbell and VANOC and green wash their purple prose. Saints preserve us, is nothing sacred? And it isn’t just the degradation of previously intact eco systems like Eagleridge Bluffs that is on my mind. David, the Olympic Games are olympic only in the amount of money corporations and the government will rake in out of citizens pockets.

The spirit that prompted the games in the first place has long vanished. It’s no longer a meeting of young, spirited athletes longing to strike gold for their countries. Some of the athletes don’t even compete for their own countries. And as winning has increasingly become the only game in town, and with it the goodies that come with the gold, many of the athletes have taken to doing what the organizers and promoters and corporations do to get the fat contracts…they cheat. Who can blame them?
And the thousands of prostitutes who will be descending upon our city with the blessings of Sam Sullivan and Libby Davis who favor legalizing bordellos to service the johns? How do the women of Vancouver and British Columbia feel about this accompanying Olympic money maker? After all, having thousands of prostitutes flood into the city is not the same as promoting the cute, fuzzy little tinker toys that are supposed to represent the Olympics. Or is it?

I get a creepy feeling seeing you sitting with VANOC lending your credibility to an environmentally and spiritually bankrupt corporate endeavor that the Olympic Games have become while increasing numbers of people are sleeping in the streets. All this destruction to make more money for ethically challenged people who already have more money than they should be allowed to have. I don’t get it, David. I truly don’t.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stones for Soup ? Or Showers of Blessing ?

By the end of my court hearing last Friday my mother’s presence was strong with me because one of her favorite gospel songs rang through my head. It’s called SHOWERS OF BLESSING and the chorus goes:

“Showers of blessing,
showers of blessing we need,
mercy drops round us are falling,
but for the showers we plead."

I think we got some mercy drops at the end of the court day on Friday. Not showers, but at least some mercy drops. Why? Because the judge reserved her decision on whether or not I will be allowed to take my case to trial. That she reserved is in itself a bit hopeful. It means it wasn’t just a slam dunk for Kevin Falcon, Kiewit Sons Co, The Corporation of West Vancouver and the West Vancouver Police who thought it would only take a few minutes to have my case thrown out.

Thank you, dear friends and gentle people. Your presence in the court room was wonderful, the good wishes of people who couldn’t come but who would have liked to, and especially I want to thank the people who contributed affidavits. It’s intimidating to be up against experienced Lawyers from these powerful offices when one is representing oneself. I couldn’t do it without the moral support you people have so unfailingly given me. And with it all I think we succeeded in getting across to the judge that my case is one of public interest as it profoundly affects the way we as citizens are allowed to protest the destruction of the environment. And perhaps, along with other issues I raised, were strong enough legally to convince the judge to allow my case to go to trial.

I’ll let everybody know as soon as I know whether the mercy drops are all there is, or if showers of blessing are on the way, or whether it will be stones for soup. I don’t want to get my hopes up to high. But I can’t help it.

Betty Krawczyk



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Betty Krawczyk
Monika Sheardown