Stop the Strip Pub

// 16 March 2008

protestThose in the Stoke Newington/Dalston area may be interested to know about a fledgling campaign to stop Satchmo’s – a bar I used to be really fond of – from getting a license to become a “sex encounters establishment”.

Former F-Word guest blogger, Kate Smurthwaite, (aka Cruella of Cruella-blog) has been spearheading a campaign to stop Satchmo’s on Stoke Newington High Street from being granted the license. You can read more about the campaign and see newspaper coverage of their protest last weekend at the specially set up Stop the Strip Pub blog.

Manager Scott Davis is quoted in the Evening Standard as saying

“We’re trying to reinvent ourselves as a modern, stylish, cocktail bar that offers adult entertainment and live music”.

Note the relative priorities there. Also

“we believe it’ll be positive for the area”.

Really, Scott? Do you? There was me thinking you were simply trying to rake in the cash in a pub which has been pretty much empty every time I’ve been in it. I had no *idea* that this was a community-spirited venture. How *appropriate* for a pub in a residential area, next door to a mosque and community centre. How *helpful* that you’ve been able to put your finger on just exactly what the local community has been crying out for.

So tell us, Scott, how this strip pub of yours is going to be positive for the local area? Will it be through the increased noise and late night disturbance of hoardes of drunk, sexed-up men falling out at closing time? Will it be through the almost inevitable increase in street harassment of female residents in the area? The increase in street prostitution which may occur around the venue? The possibility of prostitution and rape of the women dancing there? The increased likelihood of being raped as a passer by? All potential results of lapdancing clubs identified by Eaves. Goodness me, Scott, it’s a good job you came along with your ideas of how our community could be made better.

I’ll be writing my letter to the licensing authorities this afternoon and doing all I can to support the campaign. I hope some F-Worders will too. They need to be with the council by 25th of March – full details and suggested content are over at Stop the Strip Pub.

Image from Stop The Strip Pub

Comments From You

Steph Jones // Posted 16 March 2008 at 5:10 pm

The pub manager appears to have a somewhat different definition of “modern, stylish” than the rest of us! Its about time that strip bars were consigned to the past. These places are much more about ‘female sexual exploitation’ than they are ‘female sexual liberation’.

Tazia // Posted 16 March 2008 at 6:27 pm

Firstly I would like to congratulate Cruella and her colleagues, I think it is wonderful what they’re doing. Sadly, even if the United Nations were to write in to complain, it would be disregarded. The UN doesn’t live next door to the venue.

At the time Dworkin was complaining about Glasgow the success rate for club closures (elsewhere) was 100 percent. Janice Raymond asked me to link the Glasgow problems to campaigns which were having more success.

The obvious hole in the govt’s anti-trafficking activity, is the fact that they’ve yet to nail a single strip club for sex trafficking. Without prejudice to the characters involve in any specific venue, it still doesn’t hurt to explore immigration related issues.

Cathleen // Posted 17 March 2008 at 10:16 am

Is not this campaign depriving erotic dancers of employment? I suggest it is more motivated by yuppy nimbies concerned with property prices falling in the area than supposed sexual exploitation of women. A female dancer’s chance of employment is way down the agenda of the smug bourgeoise of Stoke Newington.

Laura // Posted 17 March 2008 at 10:36 am


Do strip bars exist because female dancers are looking for employment, or because men want to look at naked women? And do most women work in these places because they want or have a career as erotic dancers, or because they need the money and there is a job opportunity there?

I really think this goes way beyond employment issues, and the concerns set out on the campaign’s blog make this clear. Some of the issues raised may well have a negative impact on property prices or the ‘tone’ of the area, but if living near a strip pub makes residents feel fearful or uncomfortable – particularly in light of the Eaves report on the rise in sexual and violent attacks in Camden after strip clubs were established there – I think these concerns are wholly legitimate.

Tazia // Posted 17 March 2008 at 11:00 am

The smug bourgeoise will not be renting pole space, taking day fees, hairdressing, agency stipend, DJ money, or taxis fares from the exotic dancers. The residents were also there first.

Tom // Posted 17 March 2008 at 1:07 pm

This sounds bizarre, but I really like the way this has brought the community together. It’s things like this which help to generate that elusive “community spirit”, and serve as a template for other communities who may experience the same issues in the future. I cannot see this goig ahead. Even red ken is against it

Cathleen // Posted 17 March 2008 at 3:51 pm

I never know what to make of reports and statistics. I always suspect they are manipulated by one interest group or another. At university I virtually blew my mind deconstructing dodgy statistics from one of our set books on Lewis Binford’s book on animal bones in archaeology and further found out that the position of archaeological sites was closely correlated with the locations of pubs (which didn’t surprise me in the least). In my own personal experience the Kingsland Road leading from Shoreditch to Stoke Newington was very scary. You were greeted by lovely yellow signs reporting some murder or assault at about each thirty yard interval and the (non) reassuring information that the police were watching. Which police, however, were never to be seen. Possibly due to this my knowledge of the bars of Stoke Newington and Satchmo’s in particular is very scant. I would like to see for myself where the place is situated in relation to the mosque, school etc etc to form my own opinion about how deleterious hosting erotic dancing girls there would be to the urban ambience.

Talking about communities – just to add that from my experience the industrial organisation of strippers is still at a very rudimentary stage, though, to my knowledge, there have been occasional dramatic withdrawals of labour in the face of stingy offerings from members of the audience in the jug collection (what used to be called, in another era and in a different context, ‘wildcat strikes’). If the girls could only organise they would achieve something to ameleriorate their often dismal terms of employment…

Cathleen // Posted 17 March 2008 at 9:45 pm

Someone has just informed me by e-mail that the girls who dance at Majingoes in the heart of capitalist Docklands are organised by the GMB…Hopefully that this might become a trend…

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