Y.Our review of Hot Stew, a novel in the midst of Soho brothels (March 10), condemns the forms of protest attempted by prostitutes as “catastrophic”. But in real life, a sex worker-led campaign of gatherings and marches, pickets and protests fought criminalization and defended our right to work in relative safety in Soho homes. The Soho community supported the campaign, fearing that if sex workers were evicted, others would come next. What would be left of the popular Soho, described by Rupert Everett as the “historic village of tramps and immigrants, hookers and queens, cheese shops and coffee shops, sex shops and peep shows”?
We won: of the 20 apartments that were closed after police raids in 2013, all but two were reopened. Subsequent raids in which migrant women were deported have resulted in further closings. But sex workers remain. Our determination to get rid of laws preventing women from working together for security reasons and leaving us open to violence is stronger than ever. And also the support for our cause – more and more people agree that poverty, especially of mothers and children, is the crime, not “survival sex”.
English prostitute collective