Strippers hit streets to protest proposed ban on Bristol strip clubs

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A group of strippers have demonstrated against plans for Bristol to become the latest city in England to ban strip clubs.

The ban is being considered by the city's council and the women braved the cold weather to protest Mayor Martin Rees' plans to prohibit the sexual entertainment venues.

The move prompted a fierce backlash from those working in the industry with estimates that around 100 people will lose their jobs.

Seven protestors who make their living from sex work, some of them stripping down to their underwear, took to the streets of Bristol in a demonstration that unfolded next to City Hall.

In front of a banner that read: 'Sex workers rights are human rights', they held up other signs including 'We want to work', 'Nothing about us without us' and 'Celebration is an act of resistance'.

Chloe, one of those at the demonstration, said: "They are taking away our rights and moral autonomy, and it's not based on any evidence or facts."

The 23-year-old said that if strippers' places of work are closed, it will put people who work there "in danger".

Surveys have shown that most people in Bristol are happy with them as long as they are kept away from certain areas, including schools, housing estates, parks, women's refuges and places of worship.

The move to ban strip club's was one of the mayor's 2016 election promises.

Both of the existing clubs – sister venues Urban Tiger and Central Chambers – would be forced to close or change their business.

Chloe added: "We are not going to stop working. It's about having licensed, regulated strip clubs.

"Our safety is under threat. Our workplaces are under threat. I do not know why Bristol City Council want to make 100 people unemployed."

Members of the city's licensing committee considered the potential ban at a meeting on March 8 and they are currently in a 12-week consultation period.

A plan to ban strip clubs has also been discussed in Blackpool, Lancashire, in a bid to improve its image and become a family-friendly resort.

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