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  • Greg Collier 8:45 am on July 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    32 Billion Reasons to Read 

    Last Thursday, I attended one of those rare events that change your life, shape your perspective, and urge you to action. Alongside others at Richmond’s Byrd Theater I watched the documentary “Call + Response,” that chronicles modern day slavery. Men, women and children are enslaved for many purposes including sex, pornography, forced labor, and indentured servitude.

    At the conclusion of the screening a sex trade survivor shared her story with a small group of us. The courage and conviction of this individual was astounding. It never ceases to amaze me at what humans can survive and humanity can perpetuate.

    I was able to speak with Sara Pomeroy, the creator of the Richmond Justice Imitative, at the event’s close. Sara is amazing woman who devotes her time to rescuing and seeking justice for victims of human trafficking in Virginia. This is no small job. Virginia is one of only four states that does not have a comprehensive law in place against human trafficking. Events like the “Call + Response” screening give Sara the opportunity to raise awareness and generate conversation over this increasing domestic problem. She also works in conjunction with local outreach organizations and churches to get her message out.

    Currently, there are 27 million slaves worldwide…2 million of which are children! This isn’t purely a third-world country problem. For those of you who live under this assumption, you are sorely mistaken. In the United States alone, between 150,000 and 300,000 children are enslaved and sold for sex. Slavery, unfortunately, is in our very own back yard.

    One of the scariest statistics of the sex trade is how much money it generates. Each year, the global sex slavery market generates $32 billion in profits. I am sure it comes as no surprise that the money it generates does not trickle down to the creation of schools, clean water systems, or safe-sex education process. No, the sex slavery instead has become an increasingly important revenue source for organized crime because each young girl can earn between $150,000 and $200,000 each year for her pimp.

    This problem is real. And this problem is big.

    I encourage you to share these statistics and this short clip from the WTVR News with people you know, people you don’t, and people who will listen.

    This blog post is but a small contribution to the effort I hope to make in raising awareness on the issue of slavery. Every little thing we do is a part of our collective call to justice. Please join me.

    • Laura 9:54 am on August 19, 2010 Permalink

      Greg, I’m so glad you had a chance to see C+R. It’s an EXCELLENT film.

  • Greg Collier 7:18 am on July 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    When Greatness Combines 

    Last Thursday, Geebo was a part of something special.

    On July 8, 2010, over 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations converged on the Craigslist headquarters in San Francisco, CA, to protest Craigslist’s blatant facilitation of the sex trade industry. We stood alongside prominent groups and individuals such as Equality Now, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Center for World Indigenous Studies, So optimists International of the Americas, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Gloria Steinem, author Victor Malarek, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Congresswoman Jackie Speier. It was truly empowering.

    The mission and purpose of the protest hosted by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and Prostitution Research and Education (PRE), was to convince Craigslist to eliminate their pseudonym-friendly “Adult Services” section. In Craigslist’s own hometown of San Francisco, over 18,000 advertisements were posted in October 2008 on their Craigslist “Adult Services” section for prostitution. Of course, they were “cleverly” classified as “escort”, “massage”, “erotic”, and “adult” services. There were also a few for “adult entertainment”…to really throw people off. The scariest part of those 18,000 postings is that it is only one city. And only one month.

    “A majority of men buy sex online many of whom are trafficked or prostituted by third parties. By continuing to allow sex ads Craigslist is continuing to support prostitution and sex trafficking under their Adult Services Section,” states Dr. Melissa Farley, PRE Executive Director. This needs to stop.

    We may have made a significant step forward last Thursday… but we have a long way to go. Until Craigslist removes their “Adult Services” section and begins to monitoring submissions, we will continue to speak up. And until sex-trafficking ends, we will continue to fight. Victory will be found in perseverance.

    Guess who hasn’t caught on though? Craigslist. In true Craigslist form, no one has even been available to comment on last week’s protest. Bawk-bawk.

  • Greg Collier 9:57 am on July 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    You, Me, and Our Human Rights 


    Did you enjoy your 4th of July celebration? I am humbled in appreciation of the men and women who protect my freedom every day. For me, exercising my protected freedoms is the best way to give those brave soldiers the credit they are due. Agree with me? I thought you might!

    The spirit of the 4th of July has invigorated me and I will be joining other human rights activists in exercising our First Amendment rights in protesting Craigslist’s exceptional human rights violations. You should join me!

    On Thursday, July 8, 2010, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), Prostitution Resesarch and Education, and numerous other co-sponsors will protest Craigslist’s facilitation of sex trafficking at Craigslist’s office, 1381 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.

    Nearly 100 different human rights organizations will be there, lending their spirit and expertise. Speakers will also be presenting from noon until 2pm about Craigslist’s reckless disregard for human rights and their perpetual contribution to the sex trade industry.

    Geebo was asked by the main rally organizers, Prostitution Research and Education, to be a guest speaker. We are honored accept the invitation! Being a part of such a collective efforts is powerful. This is the type of power to be celebrated.

    Busy Thursday afternoon? Postpone it. We are all victims when we stand idly by.

    Nowhere near San Francisco? No problem. Show your support for the human rights movement by exercising your First Amendment on your favorite social network. Facebook status updates and Twitter posts are a great way to get the message out. Be heard in any way you can.

    I look forward to your support on Thursday. Let freedom ring.

    To learn more about this Thursday’s protest in support of human rights

    To learn more about the PRE

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