Today Headingley councillors used a full council meeting to speak out against the use of rape culture as a promotional tool for a student night in Leeds.Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 17.44.26 bigpic-1

Councillors Neil Walshaw and Janette Walker (Labour, Headingley) spoke at the full council meeting to criticize a promotional video for student club night ‘Tequila’ entitled ‘Fresher’s Violation’. The video features mock interviews with club goers including one student saying that a girl was going to “get raped” and that they would “violate” first year students. Another student said that “Violated is a very strong word, I would say ‘take advantage’ of someone”. bigpic

SARSVL [Support After Rape and Sexual Violence in Leeds] and others, including the Councillors, have already objected.

Leeds Uni Feminist Society have organised a protest at Mezz, there’s been an online petition, and widespread condemnation.

West Yorkshire Police have now applied to Leeds Licensing Authority for a review of The Mezz Club’s premises license
“The grounds for review centre principally on crime and disorder and public safety, which are linked to a highly inappropriate and sexually suggestive advertising campaign used by a promoter’s company and endorsed by the DPS [The Mezz Club]. There is evidence, through such promotion approved by the management, that young males are being encouraged to engage in violent sexual acts against females”
Following complaints, the video has now been taken down and an apology has been issued, but students are continuing to campaign against the club night.

And the Headingley Councillors have refused to let up on this issue.

Councillor Janette Walker (Labour, Headingley) has stated:

“Tequila’s promotional video was completely deplorable. We are very pleased with the joint Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police investigation into this deplorable video and its host venue, Mezz. We wish to see that all appropriate measures are taken in response to recent events.”

Councillor Neil Walshaw (Labour, Headingley) is on record:

“Rape culture and rape banter is wrong, full-stop. Janette and I, along with other councillors, are campaigning against the spread of rape culture and rape banter in our city.
” I warn any promoters and venues in Leeds to stay away from this kind of marketing. Councillor Walker and I will make sure that the strongest possible action is taken to send the message that condoning rape is totally unacceptable.’

See and hear their speeches yesterday in full here – at 17.07 pm.

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