Activist Strategies: Cross Country Pimpin’ Tour Protested in Minneapolis

Breaking Free has kindly given us permission to publish their Protest Summary issued on April 7.

“Breaking Free, Inc., was established in October 1996, by Vednita Carter, Executive Director, as a non-profit organization serving women and girls involved in systems of prostitution/sex trafficking and other battered women who have been involved in the criminal justice system. We understand prostitution/human trafficking as a vicious cycle of violence, incarceration, and addiction. We understand that repeated experiences of violence undermines women’s and girls’ capacities to avoid further victimization. Sexual exploitation distorts the lives of women and girls and destroys families.”

Protest Summary

Thank you to the more than 70+ people who showed up to protest against
the Cross Country Pimpin’ Tour in Minneapolis this weekend. Thank you
also to all of the others who made calls to the club, the radio
station and Mayor’s office as well as for all of the prayers. This
event was put on by notorious and brutal pimps under the guise of a
lingerie show to specifically draw in and recruit other pimps and
unsuspecting local girls (which is a federal offense) and promote the
“pimping” lifestyle. Radio Station B96 & Karma have minimized their
endorsement and involvement in this event but we believe that every
person AND business has an opportunity to either be part of the
solution or they become part of the problem (B96 did contact us and
changed the name of the event on their website). Neither were willing
to pull the plug entirely on the respective parts they played.

Our purpose for this protest was to protect our local girls and others
from becoming victims and being lured into a life of sexual slavery.
One of the pimps who arrived just as we were leaving was walking his
“girl” in on a leash. Yes, a leash!

Sunday night we met outside of Karma with a strong message to the
club, the pimps, and John’s (men who buy sex) that Minnesota’s
daughters are not for sale. We began marching at 9:00 PM and stayed
until about 11:30 PM. While we were there only a handful of pimps and
partygoers attempted entering the club and many more who were planning
on attending the event kept right on driving when they saw all of the
picketing and the presence of the Minneapolis Police Department. Ruth
Harper from Happily Ever After and Noah Wolf Photography were kind
enough to join us out in the cold to document the event. Thank you to
both of you. Check out Ruth’s photos on our Facebook page and Noah’s
here .

We want to thank the Minneapolis Police and specifically Sergeant
Gary Nelson and his fellow officers for protecting us and making sure
that the club allowed us to continue with our demonstration without
interference or retaliation. In speaking with the Sergeant Nelson, he
told us that our presence definitely did make a difference and also
that people in this community, and in fact even most police officers,
have no idea how severe the issue of prostitution/human trafficking is
in the Twin Cities.

Some Facts:

  • Minnesota ranks 13th in the nation for incidence of prostitution and
    human trafficking
  • In MN on any given night there are an estimated 8,000-12,000 women and
    children being sold for the purpose of sex
  • The average age of entry into prostitution in the US is 12 years old
  • A pimp makes up to $600,000 per year on selling just 4 women/girls
  • 85% of women who are involved in prostitution have been sexually
    abused before the age of 18
  • 90% of prostituted women have been raped by their pimps and/or
  • Prostituted women and girls are 4 times more likely to be victims of

Is this really just an innocent film and tour that is being

The producers of this film have made no effort to keep their pimping
and exploitative crimes a secret and in fact, brag about their
exploits in these films. You can search this tour on YouTube to watch
some of the clips for yourself and we encourage you to do so. You will
be appalled. We were also shocked to see that many large retailers
like, CD Universe, and Best Buy (to name a few) are selling
this trash and perpetuating the problem. We plan to launch a campaign
with our national partners to demand they pull this blatant
exploitation off their shelves. More information on this is to come.

Finally, we would just like to say how deeply disappointing it was
that more of the press did not come out to report this story. After
all, the residents of this state deserve to know what is going on
right under their noses and to be empowered to protect their loved
ones from the danger of thugs and pimps in our city. Your daughter
could be their next victim.

Thank you again to all of you who helped in your various ways and we
look forward to connecting with you again soon. For those of you who
are looking for a way to become more involved or give in any way to
help rescue and restore women and girls we invite you to help us by
giving just $5 and inviting your contacts to do so as well. Help save
a life today! Click here .

Breaking Free

See also:

The North Star: “An End to R-E-S-P-E-C-T for P-I-M-P-S” (4/16/09)
Pimps regularly engage in the force, fraud, and coercion that under the law qualify them as sex traffickers – whether or not the females they victimize are foreign nationals or U.S. citizens. But what’s worse is a culture which lionizes pimps. Pimps are celebrated as hip – in film, in television, in music lyrics. They are seen as cool for “sticking it to the man”. They are treated like they are admirable iconoclasts rebelling against the Establishment.

Strategies: Indiana Feminists Block “Girls Gone Wild”; Berlin Resident
Fights Strip Club Liquor License with Remonstrance Petition

Pandagon here relates the specific technique used to encourage greater responsibility from a club owner:

week or so ago, I noticed that Girls Gone Wild, the problems I have
with which I’m sure you can surmise, was coming to my town. I didn’t
suppose that I could shut the event down altogether, but I thought I
could at least warn some people that the folks they’d be taking off
their clothes for were rapists. So I started raising awareness in my
own little way: started a facebook page and a myspace group, handed out
small flyers letting people know about the rape allegations, labor
issues of making porn this way, and such. Lo and behold, there were
other forces at work, and better activists than me succeeded in getting
the whole shebang CANCELED by, in a genius move, threatening to acquire
the video taped the night of the event and show it at the board meeting
at which the bar’s liquor license would be up for renewal [see sample petition to club owner].
No manager wants to go to the trouble of making sure that everything
stays legal that night, and he summarily did the “right thing” and
canceled the event. ANYONE can do this in any town, no? I’ve switched
over my facebook and myspace pages to telling people about this

In other news, Berlin, CT newspaper The Berlin Citizen on
January 25 named resident Kurt Kemmling their “Citizen of the Year” for
his fight to stop the Infra Red Café, a topless bar, from getting back
their liquor license…

Press Release: Action Network to use RNC and Minnesota State Fair to Bring Attention to Problem of Sex Trafficking

AWARENESS: Buying people for sex is a SERIOUS problem in Minnesota.


The average age of entry into prostitution is 12­-years­-old.

8,000 to 12,000 people are involved in prostitution and sex trafficking in Minnesota every day.

a North Minneapolis research project on prostitution and sex
trafficking, 56% of people involved had their first experience in
prostitution or sex trafficking as a juvenile (under age 18). Studies
in other US cities found similar figures (Chicago, 62%; San Francisco,

While definitions of prostitution and sex trafficking vary, the root causes and traumatic outcomes for victims are the same.

SAFETY: Prostitution and sex trafficking harm victims and are NOT victimless crimes. Support safety & services for victims.


90% of people used in prostitution want to leave immediately and need a safe way out.

homeless, abused and at­-risk children are approached by pimps and drug
dealers within 48 hours of landing on the streets.

who have been used in prostitution and sex trafficking have a mortality
rate 200 times higher for women who have not been used in prostitution
and sex trafficking.

of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse are very high among people
involved in prostitution and sex trafficking. In North Minneapolis, 84%
have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse sometime in their
lives; 56% experienced all three forms of violence.

and sex trafficking causes many health problems, including higher rates
than the general population of cancer (particularly cervical); chronic
disease; pelvic inflammatory disease; traumatic brain injury and more.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Purchasing people for sex is a crime, johns must be held accountable…

Realities of Teen Prostitution Mock Notions of ‘Sex Work’, ‘Sex-Positive’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Empowerment’; Media Glamorizes Pimps
Pimps are criminals, but often depicted in a glamorous way in movies
like “Hustle and Flow,” in music videos, and in national magazines.

example, in the Dec. 16, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, rapper
Snoop Dogg was featured on the cover with the headline, “At Home With
America’s Most Lovable Pimp.”

“I think in the last couple years we’ve seen a real increase in the
glorification of pimp culture,” Lloyd says. “Girls growing up now, and
boys too, are beginning to see this as cute and sexy or glamorous and
not really understanding the realities of the sex industry…”

you see in the movies, what you see on TV — it’s not like that,” Sara
says. “They don’t tell you the part about the rapes. They don’t tell
you about getting beat up. They don’t tell you that you might die every

…an estimated 80 to 95 percent of child prostitutes have a history of sexual abuse…

Testimony in Minneapolis: Likeness of TV Star “Rhoda” Misappropriated by Pornographers; Aspiring Actresses Vulnerable to Being Enticed into Porn
[Valerie Harper:] As a young dancer-actress-singer in New York City, I experienced
first-hand (and have heard countless accounts from many other women in
these fields and modeling) continual attempts to convince, that
pornography, photography, films, et cetera were a stepping stone to
stardom. Young people and children are particularly vulnerable to this
kind of enticement in New York City and Los Angeles as they are show
business centers. A common statement was, and may still be, “Marilyn
Monroe did that calendar and look what she became.”

Also, during
the audition process, actresses, singers, dancers, models are extremely
vulnerable. I know of instances when women have entered the audition
room to find the man who would be giving the job completely nude. Point
blank proposals of sexual service as part of getting the job are
extremely common.

Pornography Trains and Indoctrinates Prostitutes
a study of 475 people in prostitution (including women, men, and the
transgendered) from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey,
USA, and Zambia)…92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution

Prostitution looks chic, but truth is ugly (Chicago Tribune, 4/27/08)
A comprehensive 2004 mortality study, funded by the National Institutes
of Health and conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows
that workplace homicide rates for women working in prostitution are 51
times that of the next most dangerous occupation for women (which is
working in a liquor store). The average age of death of the women
studied was 34.

Prostitution: Factsheet on Human Rights Violations (explicit language)

In one study, 75% of women in escort prostitution had attempted
suicide. Prostituted women comprised 15% of all completed suicides
reported by hospitals…

Polaris Project: “The Washington Post: A Paper Pimp?”

Call to Action: Ask the Valley Advocate’s New Owner to Drop the Sex Ads