Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in London is set to host a major conference for the porn industry on September 22-25th, 2013. They have hosted this conference previously despite protests outside. This year we need to show there has been a sea change and growing numbers of people from all walks of life are now willing to stand up publicly against the industry of pornography; against its discriminatory practices on racialised, sexualised, aged and abled bodies, despite being mis-labelled pro-censorship, anti-sex, no-fun etc.
Pornography is something that has historically split feminists, however even the recent debates on government legislation has shown there is one thing all feminists seem to agree on when it comes to porn: the industry as it stands has some systemic problems with violence against women.
Whether you want to campaign for more ethical porn or you think the whole thing should be abandoned, we can agree that taking money (and at over 600 quid per person for whole conference, with over 250 people attending, that’s lot of money) from an industry that currently makes money (and a lot of money) from practices that hurt women is problematic. Maybe not all women have experiences of violence in the porn industry. But some do.
This really has nothing to do with free speech. This is all about money, money, money.
Radisson Blu promotes itself as a leader in ethical and responsible corporate practice, supporting a number of children’s and homeless charities to demonstrate their values, including the World Childhood Foundation, a non-profit organisation with over 120 projects in 15 countries helping children at risk from abuse and exploitation.
Radisson Blu also promotes itself as a family friendly hotel, asking visitors to their Facebook page to ‘Check out our new children’s book for the explorative kids that stay with us at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street & Kenilworth hotels! They have great activities for exploring London.’
Join us in calling on Radisson Blu to make a stand this year, to put their money where their mouth is and REFUSE to compromise those values when the big bucks of the pornography industry come to town.
You can send them a Facebook message, however recent reports are that they have disabled the ability to post comments and are deleting comments that appear about this conference. Mmm censorship…
You can tweet them @RBEhotels to let them know you’re #notbuyingit and publicise to your followers that Radisson Blu say they have responsible business practices but their actions show otherwise.
Or you can email them directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. They have an automated response that says they will respond to your email in 48 hours.
Keep it polite, educational and personal. Remember that the person receiving the tweets, messages etc might not have been responsible for the booking and might have experiences themselves, either of the porn industry or of sexual violence… or both. Use what you know about business, tell them their competitors, Omni and Marriot have already made the decision that pornography does not fit their brand, that this is the way public opinion is going (as evidenced by government’s recent decision to introduce opt-in filters). Let them know you will not be using their hotels and will be encouraging your friends, families, colleagues to do the same. If you have any sway in terms of being part of a large organisation definitely let them know you will not be booking your conferences at Radisson as you don’t want your business practices to be linked to supporting an industry that has a record of exploitation.
Let’s demonstrate to the porn industry that their money needs to be ethical or it isn’t worth anything. Let’s take a stand against the co-option of our sexual liberties by enterprise capitalism. Let’s ask (nicely) for Radisson Blu to revoke the booking and make way for an ethical business practice that includes taking a stand against violence against women and girls.