Sample letter: Sheffield Council, renew Spearmint Rhino SEV licence

We support the dancers at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino, whose jobs may be under threat due to objections to the renewal of the club’s Sexual Entertainment Venue licence. If you’d like to write to Sheffield City Council to express your support for the renewal of the club’s licence, we’ve put together a sample letter which you can use. Edit away – your letter will be stronger if you make it your own. Letters or emails must be received by April 7th.

Email: licensingservice@sheffield.gov.uk

Write to:
Head of Licensing, Licensing Section
Block C, Staniforth Road Depot
Staniforth Road
Sheffield S9 3HD

SAMPLE LETTER

Suggested email title: I SUPPORT the renewal of Spearmint Rhino SEV licence

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing in support of the application for renewal of a Sexual Entertainment Venue license for Spearmint Rhino at 60 Brown Street, Sheffield, S1 2BS.

I believe that the venue does not violate the conditions for a renewal of its licence. The clientele of Spearmint Rhino do not increase levels of crime and disorder in the area, or disturb residents with noise pollution and anti-social behaviour. Standard bars and nightclubs in the city centre cause much greater inconvenience for local residents. Spearmint Rhino does not present concerns on the grounds of public nuisance or public safety.

The venue is not close to a school, nursery, place of worship, or hospital. Its late hours of operation mean that customers are not in the area at the same time as students of Freeman College or University Technical College Sheffield. The Spearmint Rhino premises are of neutral appearance and do not feature conspicuous advertisements. I do not believe the presence of this venue has a negative impact on the character of the city’s Cultural Industries Quarter.

Sheffield City Council has “statutory obligations in relation to disability race and gender”. Refusing to renew this application would have a disproportionate effect on women, who make up the greatest proportion of employees at the club.

I ask that you grant this application. Thank you for considering my letter of support.

Kind regards,

PERSONAL EVIDENCE

The following is from one of our letters:

‘I live less than five minutes from Spearmint Rhino and have never been bothered by its clientele. I do not feel nervous in the proximity of the venue and do not take different routes to avoid walking past it during the day or late at night. I have suffered harassment, groping and sexual threats in Sheffield, but not in the area surrounding Spearmint Rhino. I have been involved in feminist activism in Sheffield for many years and do not feel that the existence of the venue has a negative impact on women and non-binary people in the city.’

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Solidarity to Sheffield Sex Workers/Dancers

LaDIYfest Sheffield have been made aware that ‘Zero Option’ are calling on the Sheffield Council to reject the application for a renewal of the SEV (Sexual Entertainment Venue) licence from lap dancing club, Spearmint Rhino.

We encourage people to read a statement written by the Edinburgh Feminists when a similar situation arose in York the other year. Like the Edinburgh Feminists, we offer our solidarity to the dancers of the clubs under threat – we support their right to bodily autonomy and their right to work in safe conditions, and we oppose the campaign to take these women’s jobs away.

We would welcome opening up a safe dialogue not just with Zero Option, but with the women that any action would effect.

EDIT: We’ve put together a sample letter which you can use as the basis for your own letters of support. Letters and emails need to be received by 7 April – so get writing!

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Handy Gig Summary

2016-03-18_20.46.06

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LaDIY Presents: Dirty Girl, Molar, Pale Kids, Nachthexen

Friday 24th June @ Audacious

Dirty Girl
https://www.facebook.com/dirtygirlbandyork/

Molar
https://molartheband.bandcamp.com/

Pale Kids
http://palekids.bandcamp.com/

Nachthexen
https://nachthexenpunx.bandcamp.com/

£5 donation on the door, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. LaDIY and TAAE operate a safe spaces policy, don’t be a douche or you will be asked to leave. BYOB.

Please remember to bring donations for our fookbank drive!

[FB Event]

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LaDIY Presents: Leggy / Pale Kids / Negative Midas Touch / End Of

Short notice on this one, but NOT TO BE MISSED so pls tell yr pals!

Friday 15th April at Audacious, 8pm:

Leggy [https://leggy.bandcamp.com/]
– Cincinnati dream punx, over here supporting Shonen Knife ♥ but playing a few solo shows, and this is one of them!

Pale Kids [http://palekids.bandcamp.com/]
– Your new favourite Durham band!

Negative Midas Touch [https://negativemidastouch.bandcamp.com/]
– Sheffield noisy power electrics ♥

End Of
– Sloppy and amazing punkish and grungey, new lughole birth.

£5 donation on the door, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. LaDIY and TAAE operate a safe spaces policy, don’t be a douche or you will be asked to leave. BYOB.

Please remember to bring donations for our fookbank drive!

[FB Event]

leggy2

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Addicted To Fresno: Some Reflections

First up, it was a total honour to be at an event celebrating LGBT history month, sharing a room with loads of other awesome people, let alone to be asked to speak. This was somewhat of a personal challenge for me, given that I hate public speaking. I’m told I managed to say some words that sounded ok, despite the following waves of crushing self doubt. If yr interested, some of those words are here addictedtofresnonotes (pdf).

So then we come to the film itself, and the following is a review of sorts and contains spoilers!

Despite loving Jamie Babbit’s earlier films, the 1999 queer classic ‘But I’m A Cheerleader’ and the 2007 ‘Itty Bitty Titty Committee’ the 2015 release of ‘Addicted To Fresno’ was severely lacking.

Reading about the film in advance, I thought it sounded pretty good – Natasha Lyonne check, Aubrey Plaza check, Fred Armisen, Molly Shannon, Judy Greer, Alison Tollman.. and it gets off to a good start with some darkly witty sibling dynamics and an original feeling storyline but then come the rape jokes, followed by more rape jokes, oh and some more rape jokes. Throughout the film, the trivialisation of rape continues until it’s beyond cringeworthy, terrible poor taste. At no point does this line of supposed humour add (nor should it ever add) anything satirical or clever or amusing to the script. Even the fairly commonly used advice to call ‘fire’ in the instance of a sexual attack to get assistance, gets overshadowed completely by the mockery in the script. The presence of offensive and tactless writing felt uncomfortable and perhaps surprising given the queer female director, the queer female producer (Babbit’s former partner) and queer female screenplay writer (Babbit’s current partner). The clue with the latter however, is that as well as being behind the amaaaazing Portlandia, they used to write for South Park, probably where this kind of non wit is better suited.

That aside, you try and awkwardly continue watching the film, there’s a Sleater Kinney song on the soundtrack, amusing scenes with dildos, a (standard) Clea DuVall cameo interspersed with a kind of hapless approach to survival and retribution in the storyline that could almost be endearing. But then in more poor taste comes a Bar Mitzvah performance with a 13 year old boy rapping about the holocaust and it all kind of lost me, again, more South Park than edgy queer cinema.

I left the screening feeling disappointed and a bit dirty, and I’m definitely not talking about the dildos or blow job advice.

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LaDIY Presents: Rae Spoon + Jesus and his Judgmental Father + Ganglions

http://www.raespoon.com/
https://jesusandhisjudgementalfather1.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GanglionsUK/?fref=ts

£5 donation on the door, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. LaDIY and TAAE operate a safe spaces policy, don’t be a douche or you will be asked to leave.

Please remember to bring donations for our fookbank drive!

Friday 13th May, 8pm, BYOB, Audacious (FB Event)

Amazing poster below by Het Philips ❤

Het borderless Rae spoon poster

rae-guitar

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