NATION

Nightclub Sparks Race Row After Refusing Entry To Fijians

A nightclub has sparked a race row after refusing entry to a group of Fijian friends on New Year’s Eve because they were “not local”. The owner of Club Amadeus,
14 Jan 2015 09:21
Nightclub Sparks Race Row After Refusing Entry To Fijians
Five of a group of seven Fijian friends who were refused entry to Club Amadeus in Northallerton, North Yorkshire on New Year’s Eve after they were told only ‘local’ people were allowed in. Photo: The Norther Echo

A nightclub has sparked a race row after refusing entry to a group of Fijian friends on New Year’s Eve because they were “not local”.

The owner of Club Amadeus, in Northallerton, confirmed that people originally from the Pacific Islands were not welcome after female clubbers were “touched and groped” by Fijian men in an incident several years ago.

But anti-racism campaigners criticised the club, branding the policy discriminatory and illegal.

Mavis Lord and husband Dino tried to enter the club with five friends – two women and three men.

All of the group are originally from Fiji, but came to the UK when they or their partners joined the British Army. Several now serve at Alanbrooke Barracks, in Topcliffe, near Thirsk.

Mrs Lord said the group tried to get in the club just after 9pm on New Year’s Eve.

“The bouncers said it was only for locals and they didn’t want any trouble.

“My husband asked them if they thought we would cause trouble because we were black?”

The group demanded to speak to the manager, but were told he was only available after 10.30pm.

After going for a drink elsewhere, they returned at 11pm when four members of the group were allowed in.

However, two men and a women were stopped, with bouncers again saying only locals could enter.

Mrs Lord, 35, a personal banker, said she lived in the town and offered to show her driving licence to prove it.

“The whole experience left us feeling inferior – I have never experienced anything like it.”

But Club Amadeus owner George Crow said he stood by his policy, saying the club had experienced problems with Fijian men in the past.

“Two to three years ago eight to ten Fijian men came to the door. They were in the forces and we let them in.

“That night we had some serious problems. They had no respect for women – they were touching women, groping women and there were some serious sexual issues.”

Mr Crow said that rather than risk major disorder with the group, the bouncers did not evict the troublemakers.

“They were the most obnoxious people we’ve had in the club.”

Mr Crow said he apologised to the group, but he was adamant he did not want Fijian men in his club.

“How can I take a chance? I have a duty of care to my customers. It’s a decision we’ve made to protect my customers, especially the girls.

“It has nothing to do with colour – it’s to do with Fijian men’s attitude to women.”

However, North-East-based anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card said the club’s policy of refusing entry to people based on their nationality was discriminatory and breached the Equality Act 2010.

A spokesman said “If it is true that the management of the nightclub refused entry to a group of Fijian nationals based on their appearance then this discrimination could be seen to be applied not only to those people of genuine Fijian heritage, but also anyone who appears to be of Fijian heritage.

“The historical incident involving a separate group of Fijian men does in no way provide justification for homogenising an entire group of people and discriminating against them because of the actions of a small minority.

“Based on its understanding of events, Show Racism the Red Card strongly urges the night club management to remove this ‘policy’ and issue an immediate apology.”

Last year, the nightclub was accused of discrimination after refusing entry to a couple who had visible tattoos.

 

Feedback:newsroom@fijisun.com.fj

 




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper