06
Oct
08

Critical Resistance 10:Oakland, CA

CR 10 was an amazing venture back to the Bay Area, back to the East Bay where I spent my undergrad years at UC Berkeley, when going to Oakland to go to Chinatown or something was a regular trip. The Bay Area all around was sunny and warm. My dad lives in a senior housing apartment right by the Lake! I didn’t even wear my jacket that I am careful to make sure to bring when I make the frequent journey from South to Nor Cal.

I wanted to learn a lot about the issues presented but there was soo many things going on at the same time, as is the case in all of these conferences that I go to that if I did learn about new topics, they were only briefly touched upon in a small time frame. The parties and performances were really great to see. I supported local MCs who were performing as part of the event. I performed twice during this conference. One workshop in a middle school classroom was my first gig, and then I read my poem at the CR party,which was incredibly hip hop and incredibly youthful, queer and p.o.c. I wanted to write a new poem for this conference because I had been wanting to write something about the Grim Sleeping serial killer that seemed to resurface in LA media without an event attached to it. The killer killed in 2007 which was the first time in 12 or so years, but an article came out in Fall of 2008. LA was starting to put together its very first John’s school and I missed the last meeting, just because being part of a working group with such a clueless ideology is sometimes more than I can handle. These meetings take place in a police station conference room as well…

I wanted to find out what the Prison Abolition Movements response to a Black serial killer who is targeting Black females in the area, the South LA area where police response is at least better than Inglewood, where they’ve had at least 3 different cops kill civilians recently-but still just the same old LAPD known for locking and clocking brown and black brothers (and sisters of the track) with a vengeance. Does a serial killer qualify as the 10% of “real” dangerous, violent crimes that should be segregated from society in some sort of jail like environment even if we are fundamentally against prisons and the building of more prisons? What do we do to feel safe in the mean time? I didn’t come home with the answer, but perhaps I might. I am going to attend LA’s CR meeting and see if I can find more sex worker allies down here in LA. I met a guy who lives 2 blocks away from me, who has been arrested 25 or more times, as a client but has fought his charges in LA every single time, using a public defender and has gotten off! He gave me his card. We are all suspicious of overly enthusiastic client types and their stories because getting charges dropped as a guy seems to be different and they sometimes try to take over the WORKER driven activities in our movement, but it’s nice to see someone from the neighborhood that I live in who knows something about the fucked up nature of criminalizing prostitution and has done some resistance around it.

Gimme a Ho!
(Hooooooooooooooooeeeeeeee!)
And have the media announce to all of LA
that if she is a Black female caught walking or standing tonight or today
anywhere near Figueroa and the East 60 or 70th Streets
that they can have their way
using this newly created injunction
that is supposed to serve the function
of fixing this prostitution and pimping
“problem” that’s been supposedly “plaguing” the citizens of the South Central junction

They take the right to run your ID and check if you’re in the system
Hoping that you have priors or outstanding warrants and that their computers will list ‘em
They take the right to intimidate, incriminate, instigate a false confession,
And Confiscate the condoms that you use to protect yourself
from the risks of the profession
Maybe you just had propalytics on you, well, better hope you don’t have more than 3-
Because they use it as evidence against you to
make sure that prostitutes remain the falsely
convicted cause and not the preventors of HIV
and if the gender on your ID doesn’t reflect what they think see
they’ll feel the extra right to abuse and humiliate you before they
consider setting you free

Meanwhile at the same time in South Los Angeles
A series of Black females were also caught walking or standing
Fitting the same profile for an Orange pinto driving psychotic trick
Who seemed to get his kicks
In raping and shooting sex workers in the chest
leaving their bodies naked in garbage bags in dumpsters
betting on the proven fact
that no one really cares
about the disposable lives of some South LA hustlers

the LAPD leaving their families to guess
who killed their daughters and how they got caught up in this mess
It goes with the trade, cops say
What could you expect when working the blade they say
11 murders of sex workers since 1985
A $500,000 reward for another Black man wanted
Dead or alive-
They want DNA samples from prisoners who the killer could be related
“We need all Black males who have since 1982 have been incarcerated!”
The prison industrial complex has successfully
kept Black men locked down and segregated,
so that detectives can have their way
to analyze the alleged killers alleged family members of alleged killers
on any given day…

$500,000 or more is spent on Vice unit cops who sit on Craigslist
Clicking away
Who on the erotic service providers list
Is going down to the station today?
They can’t find the killer so they target 5 or 10 escorts to arrest
Protecting us from violence would be too hard, so arresting us is best
And these stings actually convince some people
That cops are making steps to protect their daughters
From the hands of another serial killer slaughter
jail is supposed to scare us out of the trade
but how the fuck do they expect us to pay
off the bail, fines and legal costs from the arrest record that they’ve made

Its all part of system that does nothing but continue to masturbate
and eat its own semen
Men, women and transgenders sit in cuffs
but porn is on everyone’s computer freely streamin
Is a world free of prisons and decriminalizing prostitution
something left only for wishful dreamin’?
When does the hypocrisy and selective enforcement
over our sex, genders and bodies end?
When will I no longer have to sit in court,
dressed in my best Bananna Republic to defend
My right to fuck and get paid
When will I no longer have to be afraid
Of abusive police or prostitute killers
Who are just a side effect of the condition
that this system made

When will these tunnel visioned activists no longer be afraid
To invite us to the table,
and ensure that we have a presence in their resistance brigade

Do YOU understand that sex workers have always been part of the solution
Will you take this poem to your community and make sure that whores are part of
Your revolution??


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