September 6, 2019

Demand justice for Jeffrey Epstein's victims

Statement by Charlotte Strauss Swanson, for Radical Women

Protest by Hot Mess in New York City

As the days and weeks pass since the apparent suicide death of mega-rich sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, the public learns more about the nature of his criminal behavior and about his depraved indifference for the lives of young women whom he manipulated, enslaved, sexually abused, and trafficked. We are learning too, that Jeffrey Epstein did not act alone. Rather, with the help of a morally corrupt, powerful elite of both men and women, he created a system that recruited and trafficked hundreds of vulnerable and often economically disadvantaged young women to gratify his perverse pleasures. In 2008, Jeffrey Epstein was given a plea deal by the then-Attorney General of Florida. This deal, which helped Epstein avoid major prison time and resume his criminal activities, was under the watch of a Republican majority in Congress and a Democratic presidency.

The real heroes of this story are the countless women victims themselves who came out to share their narratives and the Miami investigative journalist who reported it.

On a very deep level, this horror story reveals the utter inhumanity that is an outcome of capitalist inequality and patriarchal impunity. We look to a new era in human relations when socialism restores economic parity and gives a prominent voice to now-silenced women, children and other oppressed people. That day cannot come fast enough.

Meanwhile, we encourage feminists to write letters to the media and to judges assigned to Epstein legal cases to demand: 1) investigation and prosecution of Epstein's co-conspirators; 2) allocation of his half-billion-dollar estate to his victims, to organizations fighting violence against women and children, to advocates for murdered and missing Indigenous women, and anti-trafficking organizations; 3) an end to the criminal injustice system that protects the powerful and demonizes and destroys the poor.