John Mailer, son of Norman Mailer, joins 80,000 supporters of campaign on Change.org to ban sex ads that may feature minors on Village Voice-owned Backpage.com
NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2012 -- John Buffalo Mailer, the youngest son of late novelist and Village Voice co-founder Norman Mailer, has joined a campaign on Change.org calling on Village Voice Media to shut down the adult section of Backpage.com, where individuals have advertised children and teens for sex.
"The Village Voice was born out of the desire for an independent media voice for the people, a voice that had the freedom and authority to hold those who abuse power accountable for their actions," said John Buffalo Mailer. "While I understand firsthand the financial difficulties facing all print publications today, the fact of the matter is that Village Voice is making money from selling advertisements that others have used to buy and sell minors for sex."
"As my father's son, knowing all of the hopes and dreams that went into the work of creating this particular paper, the Village Voice appears to have lost its way from the days when Dan Wolfe, Ed Fancher, and my father began it," Mailer continued. "For the sake of the Village Voice brand and for the sake of the legacy of a great publication, take down the adult section of Backpage.com, before the Village Voice must answer for yet another child who is abused and exploited because you did not do enough to prevent it."
Mailer has joined more than 80,000 people in joining a petition campaign on Change.org started by multifaith social action initiative Groundswell demanding Village Voice Media stop accepting ads on Backpage.com that can result in child sex trafficking. Groundswell's efforts are supported by nearly 500 faith leaders across the nation.
"I applaud John Buffalo Mailer for speaking out on this critical issue," said the Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary and convener of the clergy coalition asking Village Voice Media to shut down Backpage.com's adult section. "The drumbeat demanding action from Village Voice is getting louder everyday. Village Voice, please hear our plea for action. Despite the safeguards and security procedures you have put in place, others continue to advertise children and minors for commercial sex on your Web site. This needs to stop. It is time that you reversed course and shut down Backpage.com's adult section."
"John Buffalo Mailer's participation in Groundswell's campaign on Change.org demonstrates his strong support for Groundswell's efforts," said Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing for Change.org. "Change.org is about providing individuals with the tools to create social change, and it's been incredible to see Mr. Mailer and Groundswell take advantage of those tools to prevent the trafficking of minors."
Mailer's appeal to Village Voice Media follows demands to shut down the adult section of Backpage.com by 51 of the nation's attorneys general, who called Backpage.com a "hub" for human trafficking, and by 53 anti-trafficking experts and organizations that contend that Village Voice's efforts to prevent trafficking via its Web site "fall far short of what is needed to eliminate the use of [Backpage.com] by others to exploit women and minors."
Live signature totals from Groundswell coalition's campaign:
For more information about Groundswell, please visit: www.groundswell-mvmt.org.
Groundswell is the social action initiative of Auburn Seminary.
For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about.
Change.org is the world's fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 500,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.
To schedule an interview with clergy representatives contact:
Claudia Gunter, Groundswell, [email protected], +1 (212) 870-3174
Contact information for petition signers in your area can be arranged upon request:
Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing, Change.org, [email protected], +1 (202) 684 2552
This year, April 4th marks the first day of Passover, the Eve of Easter Sunday, and the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. So we're hosting Freedom's Feast -- an interactive, interfaith seder.
We were moved to create this video because people who care about their organization’s communications kept coming to us asking how they could send compelling email like we do. So we made this video, summarizing what we know and we hope it’s useful for you.
As I write this, yard signs are going up all over Tucson that say WE STAND WITH ROSA as a part of a new arm of our campaign to close her deportation case. But you don't have to be in Tucson to stand with Rosa ...
This is our moment. The Federal Budget and our policy priorities are moral decisions that shape our world – and as people of faith, we can build the moral movement for a better one. Please join me in signing a letter to Members of Congress endorsing the "People's Budget.”
Next week, we’re going straight to our New York decision makers to deliver a faithful petition that demands full and fair funding for our children’s schools.
Reserve tickets for The Leading Edge conference, April 24–26, 2015 at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan.