Monica Jones (activist)

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Monica Jones is an American trans woman and sex work activist.[1][2] While a student at Arizona State University, Jones campaigned against police sting operations against prostitutes, which are aided by the ASU School of Social work and religious charities.[3]

Sex work activism[edit]

One day after speaking at a protest against a Phoenix law which allows police to arrest anyone suspected of "manifesting prostitution". Jones accepted a ride home after visiting a bar, and the undercover officer driving the car arrested her under the law that she had been protesting. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has filed an amicus curiae for Jones, arguing that the law is "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad"[4][5] Jones pleaded not guilty to the charge and was sentenced 30 days in prison and a $500 fine.[6]

Laverne Cox and Janet Mock joined a campaign against the Phoenix law, which they argue targets transgender women of color, following the conviction of Jones.[7] Cox stated, "All over the country, trans women are targeted simply for being who they are. Laws like this manifestation law really support systematically the idea that girls like me, girls like me and Monica, are less than [others] in this country,"[7] Mock tweeted, "Speak against the profiling of [trans woman of color], like Monica Jones".

Jones and her lawyer, Jean-Jacques Cabou, appealed the case and it was dropped in January 2015.[8] The court found that she had had an unfair trial, given that the lower court had allowed evidence of past prostitution convictions in order to discredit her.[9] The law remained on the books after Jones' case was dropped.[10]

Australian deportation[edit]

In November 2014, Jones was detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre after the Department of Immigration and Border Protection cancelled her tourist visa at Sydney Airport.[11] Jones agreed to leave the country, but will challenge Australia's Immigration Department over allegations of procedural unfairness in court.[12] Jones commented that producers for the Australian TV show Border Security "knew details of what Immigration was going to do to me" and that "It was about 30 seconds before the cameras showed up... and tried to get me on their TV show"[13] Jones was asked by an immigration officer "Are you OK if they continue to film?" when she had already demanded that the TV cameras leave.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elizabeth Nolan Brown (April 16, 2014). "Prostitution Precrime? Monica Jones and 'Manifesting an Intent' to Prostitute in America". Reason Magazine.
  2. ^ "Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  3. ^ Molly Crabapple (February 27, 2014). "Project ROSE Is Arresting Sex Workers in Arizona to Save Their Souls". Vice Magazine.
  4. ^ "ACLU of Arizona to challenge Phoenix's unconstitutional manifesting prostitution law in court". ACLU of Arizona. April 10, 2014.
  5. ^ "Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  6. ^ Megan Cassidy (April 11, 2014). "Transgender woman is convicted of prostitution-related charge". azcentral.com.
  7. ^ a b "US: Laverne Cox joins #StandWithMonica campaign against Phoenix 'walking while trans' law ·". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  8. ^ "Phoenix transgender activist's conviction in prostitution case thrown out". azcentral. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  9. ^ "Phoenix Drops 'Walking While Trans' Charges Against Monica Jones". 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  10. ^ "Monica Jones and the problem of "walking while trans"". Innocence Project. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  11. ^ a b Jason Om (December 9, 2014). "Deported US transgender woman Monica Jones allegedly advertised sexual services, court documents show". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  12. ^ Jason Om (December 2, 2014). "Border Security program accused of contributing to alleged unfair treatment of US transgender activist". Lateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  13. ^ David Knox (December 3, 2014). "Activist claims Border Security knew details of her case". TV Tonight.