Streetwalking, en Masse, for the Right to Tempt
No stranger to all manner of strikes and protests, Paris was nonetheless somewhat yesterday surprised by the sight of prostitutes walking the streets not to ply their trade but to defend their right and ability to do so in safety. While prostitution is not illegal in France, and the vast majority of those marching yesterday are law-abiding working men and women who pay taxes and often support families, a proposed anti-crime bill that would make ?passive soliciting? illegal threatens to drive them underground or put them out of business. Many prostitutes argue that---by making any woman whose appearance or behavior appear to imply the offering of sex for money subject to fine or imprisonment---the new law will force many legal practitioners of the trade to practice it in back alleys and other areas where they will be exposed to violence, and will prevent them from seeking police help.