Islington Council’s decision to allow the iconic club Fabric to re-open is of course monumental for London’s clubbing scene. It’s a move by Sadiq Khan which could prove to be representative of his term as Mayor of London: a focus on culture, both reviving the scenes which have been shut down by mass gentrification and the developers spamming skyscrapers and blocks of flats, and encouraging and introducing the growth of new venues and spaces for art and music.
I can’t fault that.
Although I can’t help but think the measures placed on the new Fabric are naive, and take an entirely wrong approach to fixing the problems Fabric has faced in the past. What does allowing 19 year old’s in, but not 18 year old’s in, actually achieve?
Islington Council has already acknowledged that Fabric has a “culture of drugs,” which, in a lot of ways, it does. Every time I’ve been to Fabric I’ve been propositioned both inside and outside of the club by dodgy blokes in expensive (and stolen looking) trainers.
Fuck off, mate. I don’t want any of your “charlie.”
Instead of imposing rules on the club, which range from more extensive security to improved lighting inside, why not actually acknowledge the “drug culture”?
Drug testing kits are cheap and effective. Secret Garden Party Festival has introduced a sort of “amnesty” tent where you can go get and get your drugs tested without the risk of a police officer slapping some cuffs on your wrists from behind. Drugs testing kits are good for, you know, checking you’re not ingesting concrete.
People will always take drugs into Fabric.
A drugs testing kit could’ve saved the lives of those young people who took too many shit drugs and died. Even better, a more wide-ranging education about drugs: how much you should take, and what are the proper procedures for making sure your heart doesn’t collapse.
To fight the war on drugs, increased surveillance, undercover police officers and more cameras, are not the answer. These scream old-white-man politics, a Councillor sat in a stuffy office in Angel, completely misunderstanding the issue, with a police inspector’s finger up his bum, who’s whispering in his ear, “Drugs are bad, give us more money.”
I’m glad they’ve reopened Fabric, don’t get me wrong. They just need to work hard at getting it right, or else it will only be a matter of time before someone else dies, and the whole process begins again.
Their war on drugs is a losing one.
It’s time to change tactics.