Sex workers in Mayfair have been part of the ECP’s network since 2009 when police raided flats without warrants, bullying and threatening prosecution. In the same year, Westminster Council threatened women with closure of the flats under planning law on the grounds that they were residential properties being used for a business. Then a few years later there were more raids when immigrant women were particularly targeted.
On each occasion the ECP held collective meetings, sometimes with women from Soho who were facing similar persecution, got legal advice, took on a lot of legal work ourselves, complained in writing about abusive, racist police officers, got support from prominent people and publicity in the press. We stopped deportations, exposed the police lies that their motivation was to save victims of trafficking and Westminster Council was forced to back down.
Prostitutes in legal victory to keep working (MyLondon, 22 May 2009)
On the liberty of Shepherd Market (Londonist, 24 May 2009)
Sex work is work: exploding the “sex trafficking” myth (New Statesman, 7 July 2014)