Labor abroad

From “Soy Bomb” to Happy-Face Bombers, Americans have nothing compared to Bolivian prostitutes when it comes to dramatic protests. Back in October, Reuters brought us an interesting item:

Prostitutes in the Bolivian city of El Alto sewed their lips together on Wednesday as part of a hunger strike to demand that the mayor reopen brothels and bars ordered closed after violent protests by residents last week.

We are fighting for the right to work and for our families’ survival,” Lily Cortez, leader of the El Alto Association of Nighttime Workers, told local television.

Tomorrow we will bury ourselves alive if we are not immediately heard. The mayor will have his conscience to answer to if there are any grave consequences, such as the death of my comrades,” she said, surrounded by about 10 prostitutes who had sewn their lips together with thread.

Some 30 other women were shown fasting inside a medical clinic nearby.

Apparently (get this) students helped the push against the prostitutes. It seems student activists went on a hunger strike in an effort to close down seedy business establishments such as bars, brothels, and karaoke rooms.

And then, just to add yet another dimension to it, a third hunger strike apparently includes leaders of an association representing the bars and karaoke rooms.

Seriously, no wonder the Iraqi Bush War is still afoot. Maybe the Republicans would pay attention if Mike Jones decided to sew his mouth shut.

On a more serious note, I have to do some scrounging around for a decent update. One copy of the Reuters story ran in the “Oddly Enough” listings. I remembered this story just the other night, after weeks of not thinking about it, and there’s just not a whole lot to go on. I guess the sewing of the lips was the sensational part, and who cares about the rest?

Marina has some commentary on the situation over at Objectify This. That’s about all I could find for now.

Famous hookers

Seriously, what’s going on here? Dan Popkey reports for the Star Tribune:

Four gay men, willing to put their names in print, have come forward since news of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea. Two said they had sex with Craig, one said he made a sexual advance and the fourth said he paid him unusual attention.

They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craig’s denials, including his now famous statement, “I am not gay, I never have been gay.”

David Phillips is a 42-year-old information technology consultant in Washington who says that Craig picked him up at a gay club in 1986 and that they subsequently had sex.

Mike Jones is a former prostitute who last year told the world he had sex with the Rev. Ted Haggard. Jones says Craig paid him for sex in late 2004 or early 2005.

Greg Ruth was a 24-year-old college Republican in 1981 when he says he was hit on by Craig at a Republican meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Tom Russell, now 48, is a former Nampa, Idaho, resident who lives in Utah. Russell said his encounter with Craig occurred at Idaho’s Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area in the early 1980s.

Now just … just … okay, look. It’s just that Benjamin Nicholas, the hooker who got some attention last week as rumors swirled around his possible connections to retiring Senator Trent Lott actually wrote The Stranger, a Seattle newspaper, last year to chastise Mike Jones for violating the Reverend’s confidence.

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.
It’s a world of hopes, and a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all!

I hate that song. But it managed to be useful at least once before I die.

Mike Jones, indiscreet hooker

Clockwise from top left: Jones, Haggard, Craig.Rev. Ted Haggard