It’s important to understand the other side’s worldview, especially if there is a particularly vitriolic, drawn-out conflict. I thought I started out understanding the abolitionist perspective, but as more time goes by, I understand it less and less. I know for a fact that key figures and intellectuals on that side know about police violence and exploitation, know about that exacerbates the violence by clients, and are already quite vocal about dangerous working conditions for many sex workers.
But the conclusion here is that more prohibitory state intervention is necessary, not that the power that the police have (and have sometimes extended to the clients) is unacceptable. When I read articles like Who Killed the Jeff Davis 8, I’m left with nothing profound confusion about what abolition is supposed to achieve. If abolition is to be enacted by the police, is there a magical stash of good cops that we have hidden away in the back? Isn’t the war on drugs already a good barometer for how things will go?