Video: An Army of Davids takes on sex traffickers

posted at 2:15 pm on April 14, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

CNN offers a story today that is both chilling and inspiring, although it’s also almost a year old. When four Russian women traveling to the US for work suddenly saw their promised jobs in Washington vanish and were told to report to New York for jobs as “lounge hostesses,” a friend of theirs posted a note on a popular website to help protect them from exploitation. He set in motion a series of events as “netizens” (CNN’s word for them) eventually brought the plight of the women to blogger Katherine Hinds. Hinds rescued the women, putting her own life at risk, but in the end saving the women from a sex-trafficking ring that planned to enslave them — and she wasn’t the only one to help:

“I didn’t see the police; there was no cell-phone service in the basement. I had no idea what to do,” she recalled. “I was terrified.” The girls finally arrived, and the three women started on their way home. She quickly realized, however, that they were being followed. “I noticed that there were two men following us, which, as you can imagine, was pretty nerve-racking,” Hinds says. “I kept thinking, I hope they’re cops.”

Indeed, they were. When the women got to the street, the men identified themselves as plainclothes NYPD and spent the next two hours questioning them. When the interviews ended, they went home to the one-bedroom apartment Hinds shares with her husband. They offered their new guests the bedroom and slept in the living room, but not before Hinds notified Reetz that his friends were OK. Reetz, of course, notified the MetaFilter message board, and Hinds checked in later.

“The police kept asking me, ‘What’s the next step?’” recalls Hinds. “I said, ‘I have no idea how we’re going to feed them. I have no idea how any of this stuff is going to happen, but at least they’re OK.’”

Hinds is unemployed, and the apartment isn’t meant for four. In a upbeat MetaFilter post about their sightseeing plans, she made an offhand comment about feeding two extra people. The response was overwhelming.

“Someone asked for my PayPal so I gave it to them,” Hinds says, her voice breaking. “I’m going to cry about it—so people have been sending money. We’ve gotten $3,500 since last night. Multiple [posters] in New York who speak Russian have been coming to socialize and hang out with them.”

Glenn Reynolds wrote a book about the power of an Army of Davids, and while he cast the book mainly as a recognition of the power of grassroots against big government and big business, it can push back against organized crime as well.  I’m not sure why CNN chose to revisit the story today, but I’m happy they did so, and it’s well worth highlighting.


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NOW has been on the case all along…say, what?

Lefties are not progressive, liberal or demotractic. They just pretend to be so, in order to fool the fools to vote for them.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

demtractic = democratic

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Good news.

rbj on April 14, 2011 at 2:26 PM

NOW has been on the case all along…say, what?

Lefties are not progressive, liberal or democratic. They just pretend to be so, in order to fool the fools to vote for them.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

When it comes to liberals, politics trumps everything. They’d sell their own mother to advance a political cause. They care about nothing but politics.

Ward Cleaver on April 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I remember watching a documentary on the sex trade. Enough to make you want to kill someone.

The worst was when the docu focused on eastern Europe. Girls are promised jobs in turkey by an old woman. She takes them on a ferry across and the girls are then taken.

Sex traffickers just need to be killed.

blatantblue on April 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Awesome story. These are true heroes making a real difference.

As for politics, the trafficking of women is something that people from the left and right should be able to unite around and defeat. It should transcend political boundaries.

MikeknaJ on April 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Has the “shady” club been raided? Has “Aloha Travel” been raided? What about investigating the activities of a “travel” company that promises jobs?

Has there been ANY actual law-enforcement follow-through?

Crawford on April 14, 2011 at 2:38 PM

As for politics, the trafficking of women is something that people from the left and right should be able to unite around and defeat. It should transcend political boundaries.

MikeknaJ on April 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM

ACLU? PC? Different cultures? Individual freedom, from the left? Women’s rights?

Davey Rywall and crr6, where are you?

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Sex trafficking? Call it what it is:

Slavery.

iurockhead on April 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM

NOW has been on the case all along…say, what?

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Lobbying ‘present’?

On second thot, they’d only show up to demand the gubmint pay for their abortion(s) had they been knocked up by johns.

AH_C on April 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM

blatantblue on April 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM

+1

strictnein on April 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

oh cool. i remember reading that metafilter post. of course it was a day after the fact, so everything had been resolved. but reading it from start to finish was surprisingly engaging, and as corny as it sounds, had me on the edge of my seat.

glad to see the whole thing has turned out well in the long run.

wilkeson on April 14, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I remember watching a documentary on the sex trade. Enough to make you want to kill someone.

The worst was when the docu focused on eastern Europe. Girls are promised jobs in turkey by an old woman. She takes them on a ferry across and the girls are then taken.

Sex traffickers just need to be killed.

blatantblue on April 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I remember that.

Unfortunately, the UN and some of our soldiers aided and abetted the trade during our adventure in Bosnia/Kosovo.

Agree about the death penalty for anyone perpetuating the sex trade.

AH_C on April 14, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I’m not sure why CNN chose to revisit the story today, but I’m happy they did so, and it’s well worth highlighting.

It’s because of the horrible videos Ashton and Demi made about sex trafficking.

I think they’re trying to get the real story or real people in real danger out there for people to see instead of the stupid crap those morons released.

ButterflyDragon on April 14, 2011 at 3:05 PM

To my fellow Arizonans on HotAir, please take a look at this group that’s doing so much to help the thousands of local victims of sex slavery:
http://streetlightphx.com/

itsnotaboutme on April 14, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Human slavery is still a huge problem in the 21st century even in a place like America. Like terrorism, it is an international problem and requires resources, innovative laws, dedicated law enforcement task forces, and publicity to effectively combat.

lexhamfox on April 14, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Awesome story. These are true heroes making a real difference.

As for politics, the trafficking of women is something that people from the left and right should be able to unite around and defeat. It should transcend political boundaries.

MikeknaJ on April 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Except the problem is not as big as the feminists want you to believe and they have an ulterior agenda. First they want to criminalize prostitution for American men who travel overseas. Great you say, but do you really care what consenting adults do on their free time especially in a foreign country? “Yes i do, because I am a busybody conservative who wants everyone to live by my moral code.”

Ugg, ok how about allowing American men to met and marry foreign women. The second item on the feminist agenda is to restrict contact between American men and foreign women. They have already succeeded in passing IMBRA. “But American men should have to pass background checks in order to send an email to a woman in another country!”

Ugg, no wonder we are losing. Progressives, feminists, leftist liars run a misdirection operation on us and we splinter like balsa wood. If you have the time please educate yourselves on this non-issue.

Bill C on April 14, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Sex traffickers are safe in sanctuary cities.

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2011 at 4:15 PM

To my fellow Arizonans on HotAir, please take a look at this group that’s doing so much to help the thousands of local victims of sex slavery:
http://streetlightphx.com/

itsnotaboutme on April 14, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Know your allies. The first board member of Streetlight PHX is John S. Veseley who lists his church as the Willow Creek Community Church of South Barrington, Illinois. From their website:

Local Outreach ministries fight poverty and social injustice on a local level.

Willow’s Local Outreach ministry is committed to extending care to people in need in the Chicagoland area. The work of local compassion is rooted in Jesus’ strong desire to see individuals and entire communities made whole. Serving our local community by reaching out to those who are hurting, alone, in need, struggling or oppressed is the very heartbeat of Jesus.

Bill C on April 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM

So, Bill C, we should ignore slavery if it means working with icky libs?

Crawford on April 14, 2011 at 4:24 PM

So, Bill C, we should ignore slavery if it means working with icky libs?

Crawford on April 14, 2011 at 4:24 PM

First, we should determine the extent of the problem.
Second, we should make sure we are not helping them fulfill an ulterior agenda.

If you lie with dogs you will get fleas. If you support lying libs don’t be surprised when they hijack your movement for their own ends. Which reminds me everyone should read Stanly Kurtz’s book Radical in Chief just for how devious the socialists have been at infiltrating organizations.

Bill C on April 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Sex traffickers are safe in sanctuary cities.

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2011 at 4:15 PM

They are pretty aggressive in combating it here in San Francisco. Why do you think that? If anything, allowing witnesses and the women involved to work with authorities without fear of deportation or charges is one of the justifications for overlooking their immigration status.

lexhamfox on April 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM

The slavers are going to get these women. The women haven’t figured out what is going on, and, from the article, don’t want to hear it.

Aloha is going to call them again and again until they decide to do what Aloha wants. Then they will vanish.

unclesmrgol on April 14, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Bibles in a hotel room are frightening?

flameofjudah on April 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM