FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 2nd, 2018
For further information, contact:
Bruce Dixon, 404-797-2087
Delegate, chair, Georgia Green Party
Qadija Tatum-Aamir, 912-517-6655
Delegate, Georgia Green Party
Preston Thacker, 817-456-3765
Alternate, Georgia Green Party
Hugh Esco, 912-571-1833
Secretary, Georgia Green Party
Georgia Delegates split on Hotly Debated Green Platform Measure
Vote over prostitution policy turns out largest vote in GNC history
The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States has decisively rejected a proposal to amend its national party Platform to rewrite its position on the state regulation of prostitution. In a seven-day vote which ended 73-63-6, Sunday at midnight, Pacific, the measure failed to achieve the support of the two-thirds required for amendments to the Platform. Consequently the GNC declined to adopt the position advanced by the Illinois Party which would have criticized the Nordic model, currently supported by the Platform, and would have endorsed instead the New Zealand model, which seeks to decriminalize ‘all aspects’ of the sex-industry.
“I suspect many of us started out pretty green in regard to our overstanding of this measure. But as the debate unfolded, it became clear that advocates for #912 seemed quite naive about how the world of prostitution operates,” said Georgia Delegate Qadija Tatum-Aamir, Georgia Delegate who voted NO, an environmental artist, sustainablist and educator raised in Wisconsin who currently lives in Brunswick Georgia. “This is why I chose to lend my voice, because I do have personal experience. Thankfully enough of us did, that it has resulted in 912’s defeat.”
“My support for #912 was intended to protect and empower sex workers as we would any other worker,” said Preston Thacker, Georgia Alternate from Savannah, and a participant with a network of socialist Greens active throughout the US party. Thacker’s vote was the fifth since being named as an Alternate by the 2017 Clarkston Convention, and is motivated by their own non-binary identity and relationships in the LGBTQIA+ community with those who have engaged in sex work for survival and as a substitute for a traditional 9-5 job. “I felt compelled to take a stand on the issue, and my vote was based on my opposition to oppression of all kinds, human trafficking, oppression of LGBTQIA+ sex workers, and the lack of a legal framework that protects their interests and prevents their oppression by bosses, in this case the pimps, johns, and madams.”
The vote on #912 brought out a record setting turn-out, 144 votes cast of 157 total eligible. “It is the first time in a while since I have participated in this big an effort on the National Committee to defeat a measure. We tend to agree on most questions put to us,” said Tatum-Aamir. “I am very grateful to have been a part of this effort. It gives me hope.”
“My initial anger over this proposal was tempered by the forgiveness expressed when Ms. Moran reminded me that we really cannot blame young people for not understanding how Amnesty International’s position and that of other respected organizations has been corrupted on this issue,” said Hugh Esco who organized with a broad coalition of Green Party activists, including members of the party’s National Committee, for the defeat of #912. Esco is a former Green Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, a former member of the Green National Committee and the current Secretary of the Georgia Green Party.
Rachel Moran is the author of “Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution”, and the founder of an international organization, Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Seeking Enlightenment, SPACE Intl. Dr. Melissa Farley is the director of Prostitution Resesarch and Education in San Fransisco, California, and the author of a 2011 book on prostitution and trafficking in Nevada. Opponents to #912 found the online library curated by Dr Farley invaluable to their efforts to encourage a science based approach to this area of public policy.
The Nordic, Swedish or Equality model still advocated for by the national party’s platform exists to protect those prostituted from arrest, empower them with the police powers of the state to prosecute abusive johns and exploitative pimps and provide them with social services when they choose to leave the ‘life’, to support their successful exit. Those working in prostitution dropped 75% over twelve years in Sweden, which has not seen the trafficking and organized crime suffered in nearby Denmark and Germany where prostitution is legal.
“While I am grateful we decisively defeated #912, the support this measure did recieve is indicative of the extent to which a pimp’s perspective has so ubiquitously embedded itself in the rape culture which shapes our public consciousness. The policies advocated by #912 would have served to further normalize the attitudes of men which have been the focus of this #metoo moment,” said Esco. “We must do a better job of countering these destructive narratives. Our Party cannot make its contribution to this movement to end the sexist oppression of women until we learn to deconstruct the rhetoric of agency and empowerment abused by the pimp’s lobby to distract us from the question of consent and to confuse our discussions about these important questions of public policy.”
The Platform of the Green Party of the United States claims ‘Feminism and Gender Equity’ as a ‘key value’. Feminist activists have been at the heart of building the party since its inception. The Georgia Green Party is an accredited affiliate of the Green Party of the United States.
Last night’s rejection of #912 means the Green Party of the United States continues to assert that women and children need, not a right to work in the sex-trade; but substantive alternatives such that they need not face that prospect. For those who have been trafficked or prostituted, they also need the social services which can make real their choice to exit the industry for those ready to do so.
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#912: 2018 Platform Amendment Proposal – De-Criminalization of Sex Work
Platform of the Green Party of the United States
The Georgia Green Party
Prostitution Resesarch and Education
Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Seeking Enlightenment