They wanted to hear a visiting Swedish cop who has busted more than a thousand guys for going out on dates with prostitutes.
Detective Simon Haggstrom was in Vancouver to deliver a lecture, and so Anna Smith and Poison Pompadour were eager to attend.
Smith is a director with the Triple-X Workers’ Solidarity Association of B.C., a group that seeks to legalize prostitution, while Pompadour is a French sex worker.
As Smith recalled, the two of them came with placards, one of which was critical of the so-called Nordic model of prostitution, which criminalizes the purchase of sexual services.
Because of that, Smith and Pompadour were barred from entering the Orpheum Annex, venue of the forum ‘International Approaches to Prostitution: Sweden, Germany and Canada’.
“We are not happy with the idea of the Nordic model because it causes a lot of unhappiness,” Smith told the Straight in a phone interview Thursday (September 22).
Buying sexual services is now illegal in Canada, thanks to a law passed by the then federal Conservative government two years ago.
According to Smith, the new law poses a danger to sex workers because it drives prostitution underground.
Triple-X stated in its media release that the forum held on September 20 was organized by the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, and sponsored by other organizations.
The release claimed that other members of the public were allowed into the venue.