6 More prostitution windows closed down in Amsterdam
The windows that were closed down are 6 windows in the Bethlehemsteeg on the numbers 1-6 (the first 6 windows on your left). We already knew for some time the windows were going to close down, as the owner of the buildings was in talks with the city government of Amsterdam about selling his building to them. The window operators didn't had much to say about this, as they had to watch how the building owner finally gave in to the huge pressure the city government had put on owner, to sell the building in which their business was located.
For a while there was talks about more windows closing down, causing confusion and a lot of stress with a lot of the other girls, if perhaps their window was also going to close down. Basically nobody knows a thing, until the building owners and the city have come to an agreement, and we're usually the last ones to find out.
For us it's always a surprise to hear if and when a window is going to close down. The government says they're doing it to fight human trafficking and forced prostitution. But how can they know that, if they've never even talked to the girls working in the windows they're shutting down? They're just randomly closing down windows, with the excuse of fighting forced prostitution, without having any knowledge about the girl they're kicking out on the street, who she is, what her situation is or what else she's going to do once her workplace has been shut down.
According to former alderman Lodewijk Asscher, the project 1012 was to reclaim the city's center from the criminals. But the only ones they're reclaiming things from, are honest hard working people like us. They're not reclaiming windows from pimps, they don't own any windows, the brothel owners do and they have a permit for this.
Lodewijk Asscher defended his plans by referring to the stories of Patricia Perquin, who was also the main adviser on the project 1012. But of course, she was later discovered as a fraud. But even after she was exposed the project still continued. According to Laurens Ivens from the SP, he didn't need the stories of Patricia Perquin to know that there was a lot of crime in Amsterdam's Red Light District. According to him there were enough reports that showed there was a lot of things wrong in the Red Light District. Laurens Ivens said:
"When I walk in the Red Light District, I see the suffering in the eyes of the women behind the windows"
First of all, when he said this I was already working there for about 3 years. I've never seen him there. But more interestingly, how can you know that just by walking through the streets? Is he some sort of medium that can read people's mind? Of course not!
And the reports he's referring to are also not as waterproof as he wants it to sound. Like I've written in on of my very first posts, all the reports that show high numbers of trafficking have done extremely little research in the field. The KLPD only talked with two prostitutes (who both just happened to be victims as well) (page 135), and than based their conclusion of 50-90% human trafficking on near guesswork of a couple of police officers when asked what their personal estimations were (most by the way claimed that was impossible to estimate) (page 76).
The other report from Bureau Beke wasn't much better. The number was already much lower in their report (30-40%), but also they've only talked to 8 prostitutes, of whom by the way were only working in the Singel area (page 223). None were spoken in the Red Light District area itself!
On top of that their interview was done with a questionnaire which didn't even refer to any questions regarding human trafficking or forced prostitution (pages 220 and 221). They only asked for: sex, age, origin of country, current living place, how long they were living here, which languages they spoke, the numbers of years working in prostitution, if they did any other forms of prostitution, how many hours they worked, if they has any other sources of income and their plans for what they would do if they would close down their window.
Also everyone knows, as also statistics show, that most of the girls working in the Red Light District come from mainly Romania and Bulgaria with a smaller portion of Hungarian girls, and after that it spreads out into small groups. But for this report they've interviewed only 2 Romanian girls and no Bulgarian or Hungarian girls. So the (poorly done) interviews also don't give a good representation of the groups that are working in the Red Light District.
The rest of the reports state much lower statistics. Amsterdam Sociaal stated a percentage of 10% human trafficking, and Scharlaken Koord even came to only 8% human trafficking. Both by the way interviewed a substantial amount of girls. Bas Merkx for Amsterdam Social interviewed 94 prostitutes for his research. Scharlaken Koord even came to 220 prostitutes.
So how did Laurens Ivens exactly know again there was so much wrong? You can't see it on the outside, like how he suggests in his comment in the newspaper. All the reports that show high figures are doubtful to say the least, as to how they came to their conclusion. And the reports that show low figures were actually done among a large group of prostitutes, and both of those researches stay very close to each other, even though they came from two completely different sources.
But beyond that, how can they dismiss the fact that Patricia Perquin was one of the main advisers on the project? How can you still continue a project, of which the main adviser turned out to be a fraud! That at least would require some sort of investigation, to see how large her influence was, and if the project still even has any basis to continue without it's largest adviser.
To put it more simple. If we would take out the influence of Patricia Perquin on project 1012, would it still hold up? That should be investigated, but never was, which begs the question why the politicians were so reluctant to do that? What are they hiding that they don't want to be investigated? What are they so afraid of that we'll find out?
In 2011 however, Lodewijk Asscher did an interview with Eva Jinek. That interview revolved around project 1012, and Asscher's attempt to close down large parts of the window brothels. And of course the interview turns towards the question why they are closing down windows. Asscher his response is of course that it is because according to him there's much wrong in Amsterdam's Red Light District.
Eva: "About how many people are we talking? How many women?"
Lodewijk: "About many women. The estimations are unclear"
But if estimations are unclear. Than how do you know you're talking about many women? Would be my question. After all, many implies a large potion. But if the estimations are unclear, than how do you know we're talking about a large portion of it? After all, even mayor Eberhard van der Laan has stated that they don't know, because the estimations reach from 8 till 90%.
Eva: "But are we talking hundreds, or thousands?"
Lodewijk: "Next week a new book will appear, 'Slaves in the Polder' it is called, and there they say: about 50% of the prostitutes are forced. Can you imagine, the half of those women! But it also says that from those Hungarian girls, there are now many Hungarian girls in the Red Light District, it is about 100%. If you know, that a couple of hundred feet away, this is happening in the capital of a wealthy country. Rape, every day again."
The book however that Lodewijk Asscher is referring to, is written by Perdiep Ramesar, the journalist recently fired for not being able to show his sources. Ramesar was best known for his articles on prostitution, human trafficking, but also about a neighborhood in The Hague, De Schilderswijk, which would be in the hands of radical Muslims. Also his book, 'Slaves in the Polder', has been retraced from new prints from it's publisher after these recent events.
This now has been already the second time Lodewijk Asscher has referred to someone else to defend it's project 1012, that the person in question has been exposed as a fraud. All the research they're referring to turns out to be based on guesswork by people from the government themselves, rather than actual field work and prostitutes. The researches that prove otherwise however, have done extensive field work, interviewing prostitutes.
After Perdiep Ramesar was revealed to be a fraud, the people from the Schilderswijk in The Hague went in talks with the newspaper that published the articles about them. Yet I'm surprised nobody has said anything about all the lies Perdiep told about prostitution and human trafficking in all of his articles and his book.
Especially considering the fact that now already two of Lodewijk Asscher his sources have turned out to be frauds. How can a project like that still continue without any questions? How can it be that no journalists has stood up, and thought: "Wait a second! There's something wrong here! This is already the second fraud connected to Amsterdam's Project 1012, I'm gonna write a story about that and ask some serious questions about that?"
The media might have woken up about Jojanneke her lies, but that's only because I handed it to them on a silver platter. Do I need to do all the work for you people? Have journalists become copy machines of the people that really delve into the truth? When are you going to wake up, and do some actual journalism, in stead of just copying what me and many other people are saying?
I mean, you are also just copying exactly what Lodewijk Asscher is saying without question. If Lodewijk Asscher says that 50% of us are forced, you don't investigate it, you write it down as if it was a fact. If I write that Jojanneke is using false statistics, you write it down without checking it. Fortunately I still check the facts, or rather my boyfriend does, who helps me a lot in that respect for doing most of the fact checking on my blog. But the media doesn't check their facts anywhere! And that was exactly the mistake Perdiep made and the reason he got fired!
Fact is, that Amsterdam's Project 1012 is built on lies. Lodewijk Asscher used frauds as evidence to support his project, namely Perquin and Ramesar. All stastics about forced prostitution are unclear to say at least, so any conclusion based on that is a false one. Fact is that Lodewijk Asscher is now the vice-prime minister of this country because of this prestige project of his. So this man basically became vice-prime minister, by lying and using frauds as proof, and nobody's asking questions? Go shame on you!
As for the girls working in those 6 windows? Well, they lost their workplace, which basically means they're without a job, unless they can find another window. They don't have a fixed income anymore to pay their bills, and some might resort to illegal prostitution in order to pay for those bills. But that's okay, as long as you people can still believe in the illusion that you're fighting human trafficking, right? Great job!
I've updated the blogpost because it turned out that not the window operators but the building owners sold it. The window owner therefore became as much a victim of this as the prostitutes themselves.