❤️ Helping The Cowley Club, fundraising for Mansoor Ahmed, saving our starlings and more ❤️

plus Bears In Trees and Love Gone Wrong.

❤️ Helping The Cowley Club, fundraising for Mansoor Ahmed,  saving our starlings and more ❤️
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning, and a happy Valentine's Day to our subscribers in the Flock—you're all our Valentine! Welcome to those who are new to our weekly news briefings, and thanks for returning to those who have been around for a while. This week we're talking about The Cowley Club's campaign to get rolling shutters, helping an Uber driver who was attacked on Christmas Day, and the gardens at Old Steine.

If you're feeling like sharing the love, please share this with anyone you think would be interested, and if you think you've got a story to tell about our city, consider signing up to contribute here.

🗞News This Week🗞

Mansoor Ahmed fundraiser, NEU strike, starling preservation petition

Source: Mansoor Ahmed crowdfunder

Anti-racists in the city have organised a solidarity crowdfunder appeal to support Mansoor Ahmed, a 33-year-old Uber driver, who was attacked on Christmas Day. It was organised by Arran Evans, co-convenor of Brighton and Hove Stand Up to Racism and Director of local charity Sussex Interpreting Services, and has already nearly reached its £2,000 target. Mansoor has asked for people's full support against racism, saying:

I am father of a 1 year old girl and the main bread earner for my family.  I also pay for medical expenses for my mum and dad and my siblings education.
I definitely do not want this to happen to someone else - this has been a terrible experience.

To support Mansoor and his family, visit the fundraiser here.

Source: NEU South East Region

Teachers who are part of the National Education Union (NEU) at Brighton Girls are striking for six days to try and defend their pensions. The school in Montpelier Road is seeing its teachers face being removed from the Teachers' Pension Scheme by the Girls' Day School Trust. Teachers' pensions are expected to make them 20 per cent worse off annually, according to the NEU.

One day of strikes have already happened (Thursday, February 10). They will continue on Wednesday, February 23, Thursday, February 24, and Tuesday, March 1 to Thursday, March 3.

Source: The Brighton Seagull

More than 30,000 have signed a petition calling for Brighton and Hove City Council to help the city's dwindling starling population. The petition, which can be found here, explains how 'unsustainable and intensive agriculture' is killing insects, starlings' main food source. It calls for the council to ban chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and worming treatments across the entire City Downland Estate, which covers 12,800 acres. It also requests the council do more to reduce noise and light pollution, through education and advocacy.

🖋 NIBS 🖋

  • A vaccination centre has opened on The Level, relocating from Preston Park.
  • Things have gone from bad to worst at Old Steine - the gardens have been vandalised with plants ripped up and discarded and fencing pulled from the ground and thrown around. To complement the sinkhole, we suppose.
  • In-person graduations have taken place for students at the University of Brighton for the first time since early 2020 - congratulations to all who walked the stage last week!  Particular shout out goes to long-term Seaguller and photographer Gemma Rogers.
  • According to NHS figures, 1 in 4 of 18 to 39-year-olds in Brighton are estimated to have not received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, as of Sunday, February 6.

💥The Big One💥

Cowley Club calls community to challenge council

Source: The Cowley Club

What's happening? Brighton's only anarchist, vegan, cooperative social club is campaigning against Brighton and Hove City Council's decision to not allow roller shutters to be installed.

What is The Cowley Club? The club is an anti-capitalist, pro-animal liberation, meeting space and gig venue, which has been open since 2003. It's used by many groups for organising and fundraising including the mutual aid, non-referral vegan food bank, hunt saboteurs, Direct Action Everywhere, the Migrant English Project,  StopHS2, Brighton Anti-Fascists, Brighton Kurdish Solidarity, and Industrial Workers of the World.

Why did the council make that decision? According to a comment from The Cowley Club, the application does not fit their planning code because roller shutters 'make places look less appealing' (Seagull would submit that there are perhaps more pressing aesthetic problems on London Road for the council to be concerned with).

Why does this matter? In January 2021, the club raised more than £5,000 to help them through lockdown and to install £3,000 rolling shutters. They were intended to replace the current heavy, wooden boards used, to make the club more secure, and to make it more accessible for anyone to open or close the club. At the moment, they have to run on limited hours as only two of their volunteers are able to put up and take down the boards.

More reasons the club have given as to why they want to install the shutters include:

  • Preventing them from having to clean litter, needles and excrement from the doorway
  • Making London Road safer by removing a dark doorway for someone to jump out of, or be dragged into
  • Drawing more attention to their mural with it being bigger and brighter across the whole front of the premises

Who else has this affected? Lighthouse Tattoo & Piercing Studio, a vegan studio in Queens Road, has shown solidarity with the club, saying:

We are going through similar the council wants us to remove our shutters of 29 years.
If we remove them our shop windows we risk having our windows smashed this happens often on our road.
People wee, sleep, poo in our doorway.
The shops security is at risk also.
Sending positive vibes, so far we have ignored the councils' demands.

What can I do to help? The Cowley Club is asking people to send an email to [email protected] with the subject 'In support of BH2021/03628 Revised', with their thoughts on the council's rejection.

👉Finger On The Pulse👈

Bears In Trees, The Herd, La Belle Sauvage, Love Gone Wrong

🎶Gigs: Bears in Trees will be at Chalk tonight—our editor would be an awful friend if we didn't promote this gig: Iain, one of the band's members, is a lovely person they met at university. The 'dirtbag boy band' are excellent, truly very good (trust me) and worth far more than the £12 ticket price.

🎭Theatre: The Herd, by Rory Kinnear, will be at the New Venture Theatre in Bedford Place from Friday, February 18 to Saturday, February 26. It tells the story of a disabled son's 21st birthday celebrated with his family, including his caregiver and absentee father. It's 'a witty, heartfelt portrait of a family brought together and torn apart by circumstance and secrets', and tickets are available here.

🎥Cinema: Duke of York's in Preston Circus will be screening La Belle Sauvage, broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre in London. Set twelve years before the His Dark Materials trilogy, two young people and their dæmons find themselves hunted for baby Lyra Belacqua, the protagonist of Pullman's series. Our editor went to see it live in December, and thought it was incredible. It's definitely worth seeing on Thursday - tickets can be bought here.

🏛Walking tour: Tonight at 8pm, a murder tour of Brighton will set off from The Iron Duke Pub and Hotel in Waterloo Street. Tour guide Nick Richmond will take you on a tour of the city to discover tales of Love Gone Wrong: ghosts, a woman who tried to poison her love rival with chocolate, and a drink at a pub haunted by the ghost of a murdered landlady all await. Tickets available here.

🚩Protests: An Anti-Vivisection Protest is taking place on Saturday, February 26—tune into next week's round-up to find out more.

Swoop in

If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected]. And if you want to contribute:

☕️ Where to eat? 🥪

Coffee: You've probably heard of Trading Post, but have you been to The Roastery in Sydney Street? Perfect for people watching and dogspotting.

Lunch: Iydea has an ever-changing menu of vegetarian and vegan mains, sides, dressings and salads, for a very good price. Seagull's editorial team can often be found there!

Dinner‌: Seagull are very excited to visit Tuntuns on Lewes Road for some delicious, home-made, traditional Bangladeshi food.

Bonus: If you're looking to stay in tonight but don't want to cook, Seagull fave Planet India will be open with a rare Monday night offering of takeaway and delivery. We will absolutely be loading up on their always-excellent bhajis, ketchoris and pani puri!

🔜 Next Time 🔜

That's all for this week—don't forget to fill in our contributors form if you'd like to get involved, forward to friends who might be interested and if you've been forwarded this and enjoyed it (or are reading on the website), please subscribe: