As FEMEN continue their tour of Europe, they stopped in Switzerland’s Zurich to stage a protest against prostitution. Interestingly enough, Switzerland has legalized prostitution. As far as I know, this is the first time FEMEN has openly opposed prostitution in a country that welcomes it.

In FEMEN’s press release regarding their Zurich is not a Brothel protest, the ladies claim (doing my best to translate):

 

The majority of prostitutes within Switzerland are not Swiss – most are women from poor countries from Eastern Europe and Latin America. Many enter prostitution unwillingly. Some are driven by poverty, others by violent force. Girls from Eastern Europe have been transported illegally by truck like meat, held in intolerable conditions and then sorted like sheep, some working the streets while others work in a cabaret. All the while the women are plagued by constant violence, disease, alcoholism, drug addiction and crime. 

The women’s movement FEMEN believes that brothels in rich European countries are not legalized to protect the rights of prostitutes but for the sake of the lavish, immoral and animal desires of men.

 

These are strong words and definitely reflect the reason behind the women’s actions. I am curious what the prostitutes of Zurich have to say about this, but unfortunately I have yet found an article reflecting their point of view. 

None the less, as always, the women of FEMEN put on a great show. They held up various signs, some in Russian, others in German and one that looks to be in French. An English sign can also be seen stating, “Woman is not a commodity”. The beautiful Shevchenko sister’s once again led the revolt, but this time they brought along a local, Ghislaine Mestral. The protest was further supported by the Radical Liberal Party of Switzerland and it’s leader Claudine Esseiva.

Over the years, FEMEN has become accustomed to police intervention throughout their protests, but Europe has been very different. Here in Switzerland, the police merely stood by and watched. I am sure they had orders to interfere if things got out of hand, but FEMEN is populated with real ladies so such a thing never happens. The police watched the show with a smile on their face, then dispersed quietly as the ladies left. 

In all, it is doubtful that the Zurich is not a Brothel protest will have any affect on the citizens of Switzerland, however it does bring more attention to FEMEN’s cause which is reason enough. I hope the ladies are enjoying their time touring Europe but I am sure the Europeans are enjoying it. 

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