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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2009

Why we must Stop the Strip!

IN A successful demo on 22 May over 100 people - local residents, trade unionists, students - joined the "Stop the Strip" campaign's loud and noisy protest against a lap dancing club in New Cross, south London.

Tanya Eadie

A local publican whose pub had been going downhill for some time had decided to turn it into the White Hart "Gentlemen's Club". Initially the local council (Lewisham) rejected the licensing application but the publican appealed to the courts and won.

Unfortunately under Labour's Licensing Act, clubs only require a premises licence just like a cafe. There are now around 300 lap dancing clubs in the UK.

Local residents, together with Socialist Party councillors Ian Page and Chris Flood and Socialist Party members organised the Stop the Strip campaign to end lap dancing at the club. We immediately established that the group would not be attacking the women working there.

But local people feel threatened or intimidated by this club. One protester on the demo, June, told us: "I can't walk past there at night now. When they (the men visiting the bar) come outside they ogle you, saying and shouting things to you - it doesn't matter what age you are as well". Others told me similar stories.

Lewisham borough has one of the highest rates of sexual assault on women, the sixth highest rape figures and is eighth highest for all other sexual offences. Evidence shows that when lap-dancing clubs open in new areas, attacks on women increase. Lap dancing treats women as commodities to be ogled at and sometimes abused.

Ian Page and Chris Flood will be presenting a resolution to the council calling for a Compulsory Purchase Order on the White Hart, ensuring that it is put to better use for the community.

The Police and Crime Bill going through parliament will licence lap dancing clubs as sex encounter venues where licenses will be harder to get. However it is up to local councils to agree to sign up to this. Lewisham council should do this and we should put pressure on the government to make this bill mandatory for all local authorities across the country.

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In The Socialist 27 May 2009:

Protest at MPs' sleaze: Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy

No2EU - yes to Democracy: Who's standing and why you should vote for them

Fight for real democracy!

Hear No2EU - Yes to Democracy speakers

Fiddling Tory MP Mackay resigns

UKIP - yet another establishment party

BNP fail to win Salford election


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July

School students organised strikes


Construction workers feature

Construction workers: battle won but war not over

Strike success at Lindsey Oil Refinery and Conoco

An action plan for all construction sites

Diary of a Lindsey Oil Refinery shop steward


International socialist news and analysis

Southampton protest: Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Latvia: 'A capitalist inferno'

Kashmir health workers' victory

Nanjing college students in clashes with police


PCS conference and workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for future battles

Delegates' anger at Public and Commercial Services union conference

Young members' voices heard at PCS conference

Wales TUC conference - no good news for New Labour

National Shop Stewards Network conference


Socialist Party campaigning news

Anger at council school closures

Lewisham Bridge primary school

Why we must Stop the Strip!

"Dump cuts not elderly"


 

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