Oppose the developers: London is fighting to protect its LGBTQ+ clubs - Comment - Mixmag

Oppose the developers: London is fighting to protect its LGBTQ+ clubs

The capital has lost 58 per cent of LGBTQ+ venues in the last decade and the community they serve has had enough

  • Words: Jim Ottewill | Illustration: Lawrence Abbott
  • 4 October 2017
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But over the summer, largely thanks to the work of campaign group The Friends of the Joiners Arms, the pub has had a stay of execution. Its doors may remain closed for the time being (its been shut since January 2015) but developers Regal Homes have had their plans rejected after proposals for a replacement queer club were deemed as not going far enough to guarantee its viability to operate.

Co-chair Jon Ward remembers the campaign coming into focus in late December 2015, weeks before the pub was due to shut.

“Seeing another example of investors making money out of the disentitlement of the queer community and the continuation of queer spaces disappearing in London led to our group forming. We were born out of a sense of anger, frustration and dismay and decided that we needed to be active in opposing the developers,” he says.

Jon believes venues like the Joiners are now needed more than ever and the fight with developers will continue until an agreement that reflects the needs of the LGBTQ+ community agreed.

“There are still shocking levels of misogyny, transphobia and homophobia,” he explains. “And those who are most directly impacted by these are also those who are the least powerful within society. The LGBTQ+ community are most disempowered by austerity and bigotry.”

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