A crowd funder is raising money to fight strip club bans across the UK, including Bristol.
United Sex Workers, a “grassroots, radical, and peer-led sex worker” trade union started the crowd funder one week ago in response to a decision by Edinburgh city council on March 31 to introduce a nil-cap on sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) in the city.
That decision is being contested in court and the crowd funder will initially be used to support the legal battle, estimated to cost £20,000. The target for the fundraiser is £40,000 and any remaining funds will go towards similar fights in cities like Bristol, where the council has also proposed a nil-cap which would see both of Bristol’s SEVs closed.
Speaking at an event at Bookhaus on June 1, Amelie, a member of BSWC and a vocal advocate for sex workers’ rights, said that it is essential for the crowd funder to be successful to show that people care about this issue.
A public consultation on the proposed nil-cap closed in December 2021. Bristol council has yet to publish the results.
Proponents of a nil-cap argue that strip clubs promote violence against women and are part of a sexist culture that objectifies women for the gratification of men. The policy is supported by MPs Thangam Debbonaire and Kerry McCarthy.
BSWC have highlighted that the rate of violence against women is higher at many of Bristol’s nightclubs than at its strip clubs. They also argue that closing SEVs will only push the women who work their into unsafe and precarious work environments at private events.
Bristol’s strip clubs have the backing of Bristol Nightlife and The Bristol Association of Restaurants, Bars and Independent Establishments (BARBIE) and are in good standing with Avon & Somerset Police.
At time of writing the crowd funder is on £7,688 from 242 donations with some donations in the hundreds of pounds.
Feature image by United Sex Workers.