Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I am NOT collateral damage!!

Well Suzy and I went to the police board meeting, made our presentation and had a brief meeting with Superintendent Steve Sweeney. Sigh… I think I’m finally coming down from the adrenaline rush and the emotional overload. It was intense. I’m trying to remember the conversation before I forget too much.

Ok basic points:

Exotic Dancers are not the target. It’s the Gang Violence Task Force and their target is organized crime.

I’ve unwittingly become part of the underworld of Vancouver by being a stripper and joining the ranks of sex industry workers. But the thing is- I’m a nerd. I go to work. I get naked. I go home. I’m totally oblivious to the underground culture that the Superintendent is referring to.

I was told that the people they’re after hang out in those types of establishments (ie strip clubs) and that there’s a gang war brewing and apparently it’s going to erupt one of these days in a Vancouver strip club WTF!?! So even though I haven’t seen any of these very bad people they’re referring to, and even though security at all of the clubs is excellent, apparently it’s very important that the Gang Violence Task Force is on hand to stop… something.

Sigh… I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care what internal underground politics could be brewing in the background. I need my job.

Part of the conversation:

Sweeney: They’re putting pressure on the strip clubs because of the gangs. Three gang members died 6 months ago.
Suzy: Not as fast as we are.
Ryann: In strip clubs?
Sweeney: No, but those type of people are known to frequent those establishments.
Ryann: But it’s coming out of my pocket. I’m the one affected.
Sweeney: That’s not our intention.
Ryann: But that’s what is happening.
Suzy: How does barging into dressing rooms fight gang violence?
Ryann: How does harassing customers combat gang violence? What about barging into VIP rooms?
Suzy: I was offered a ride along. I want to go with the Gang Violence task force when they patrol strip clubs.
Sweeney: Well The Gang Violence Task Force has temporarily been stood down.
Suzy: What does that mean?
Sweeney: That might not be possible.
Suzy: Driving sex industry workers out of safe work environments can’t happen.

Ryann: We don’t care about your war. I care about my job, my tuition, my income. I care about feeling safe at work.
Suzy: Sex industry workers are not a reasonable casualty in your war.
Sweeney: Sometimes that happens. You guys might be the ones hurt by this for a while.
Ryann: We’re talking about my job!
Sweeney: I’ll read your letters and look into seeing if there is a better way to get things done.

… and so on… That’s about all I remember right now. I’m sure I’ve missed points.

If there is a war coming like the Vancouver Police Department believes to be true, then why aren’t they protecting the dancers, warning the girls, and taking steps to ensure everyone’s safety? Why are they watching the shows, leering at the dancers, barging into dressing rooms? Why are undercover officers buying private dances? Why are they monitoring private dances so carefully? Why are they harassing customers and dancers? Why are they taking away safe work options for women?

I’m estimating that I’ve experienced a 30% decrease in my income in Vancouver in the past 5 months since this mandate started. That’s my savings. That’s my future. I can’t imagine the Superintendent sitting in front of an elementary teacher and saying “you are a reasonable casualty”. So why the fuck am I disposable!?!?

This whole thing is a mess. I pray something changes. This current agenda is putting hundreds of women at risk. I’m just one of them. I don’t fear a war. I fear unemployment. I’m not collateral damage nor am I a reasonable fucking casualty!!!

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6 Comments:

  • At 11:23 PM, Blogger Ginger said…

    perhaps a letter to the local newspaper followed by an interview with a local tv station is in order...they are always looking for "underdog" stories.
    Something to make some calls about...?

     
  • At 8:28 AM, Anonymous rori said…

    I think going to the press would be good with this one. Perhaps tyeing it in w/ ED4C may help, here's these friendly strippers that were helping just 2 months ago being put out of work.

     
  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger KellyNerd said…

    Hi there... stumbled onto your blog and love it...

    Hope you are having a good day.

     
  • At 9:28 PM, Blogger Cheeks Filibuster said…

    Ryann
    Oh boy, here come the the bullsh#* fairytales of evil trolls (gangsters) waiting under bridges to eat unsupecting good citizens. Meanwhile it's the perpetual "grey areas" of bylaws and the intrigues of city officials that cause strippers (and any sex industry workers really) to become the acceptable casualties.

    Gang activity is a threat to things and people everywhere, but even the skankiest club in the GTA deals with no more than the pimp element within the club itself, I think.

    You ask some questions that really challenge the police board. Nice!

     
  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Gölök said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Gölök Z Buday said…

    Hah! Big shock, nice continuity.
    Might want to delete this, it's not licking your ass.
    A question to answer maybe in one of your deliteful writings. Why allow annonymous and other? Some just go with the inside or profiled. I myself would never allow annonymous.
    At least warn against annonymou criticism.

    Best


    Gölök Zoltán Buday
    "Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent... The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words." - Prime Minister Diefenbaker, April 9, 1970, House of Commons.

     

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