Queer nightlife groups organise protest to 'Save Kink Spaces' in Tower Hamlets - News - Mixmag
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Queer nightlife groups organise protest to 'Save Kink Spaces' in Tower Hamlets

The protest is taking place at Tower Hamlets Town Hall to protest "archaic" laws

  • Words: Aneesa Ahmed | Image: Klub Verboten
  • 20 July 2022
Queer nightlife groups organise protest to 'Save Kink Spaces' in Tower Hamlets

A protest, partially organised by queer nightlife communities, is taking place next week (Tuesday 26 July) outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall to save queer and kink spaces in the city.

This comes as the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in East London, is attempting to impose a no nudity or no semi-nudity restriction on E1 / Studio Places, one of the last surviving queer-friendly kink spaces in the borough.

The protest will take place outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall at 6:PM - members of the queer and kink communities are encouraged to attend and help save queer nightlife spaces.

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A press statement sent to Mixmag from queer and kink-positive party Klub Verboten said: "To stand together against discrimination, we are staging a protest outside the Tower Hamlets Town Hall.

"We are calling on everyone who belongs to kink, leather and BDSM communities to attend and show their solidarity. After the closure of the Backstreet, this will be the second safe space lost in Tower Hamlets."

Klub Verboten largely plays techno – and offers a BDSM dungeon and playroom where consenting people may hook up with and explore sexual connections with other guests.

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The statement continues to explain: "The council is relying on outdated and moralist views without any regard for diversity and inclusivity in the night-time economy. It potentially concerns all the LGBTQI+-centered venues and events and the present and future kink-friendly and sex-positive spaces across the UK.

"The council is wrongly trying to conflate two separate legal regimes that of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and the Licensing Act 2003, in an effort to limit personal freedom and expression.

"These legal principles are dated and rooted in unequal binary categories. Tower Hamlets Council is trying to force its judgmentalism on club operators and promoters, forcing them to police gender and sexuality on consenting adults."

The protest has four main aims: to fight to have the opportunity to have kink-safe spaces where queer people can express themselves unashamedly; to reiterate that going against the kink community means going against the LGBTQ+ community; to show how kink communities are pioneering the way for safer nightlife practice overall; and to challenge "outdated" laws being used as a justification for their censoring.

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In March, VICE reported that queer nightlife spaces were under threat from "archaic" councils and laws in London. Klub Verboten and Crossbreed, another one of London's most renowned kink and fetish club nights, were been threatened with legal action if they continued to host parties.

Klub Verboten has asked supporters to use the hashtag #savekinkspaces to spread awareness.

The protest is taking place on Tuesday, July 26 at 6:PM at Tower Hamlets Town Hall, 5 Clove Cres, Blackwall, E14 2BG.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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