Supporters fight back at Spearmint Rhino critics

More than 800 people have signed a letter to support workers at Spearmint Rhino club and to renew it licence this June.

Zero Option Sheffield said private investigators witnessed dancers performing sex acts at Spearmint Rhino during two undercover visits. Campaigners calling for the club to have its licence revoked.

The open letter says: “The argument that Spearmint Rhino is harmful to its employees and to women and other minority groups in the vicinity of the club serves to refocus attention away from the real perpetrators of that harm – men who harass women, and who are subject to the already-existing legislation that prohibits that behaviour.”

Shiri Shalmy, an organiser and an executive member of United Voices of the World, said: “Workers at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield are viciously targeted by a campaign to shut down clubs, throw more women into poverty. Our members are organising, seeking recognition and will fight to save their jobs and livelihood.”

Charlotte Mead, the branch leader in Woman’s equality Sheffield, said:United Voices of the World has alleged that the Women’s Equality Party conducted an undercover investigation into sexual entertainment venues. This is simply not true: we have at no point commissioned or conducted any such investigation.”

“We will be objecting to the license this year as we have done in the last few years.”

Harvey Laurie, media relations officer of Sheffield City Council, said: “Spearmint Rhino have applied to renew their sexual entertainment venue licence and there is now a period of public consultation that ends on 27th May 2019.

“Information was given to us by a campaign group with regard to Spearmint Rhino and we are undertaking an investigation of the matter.”

The open letter added: “We, the undersigned, are writing to express our support for the workers at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield, where the licence is currently up for renewal, and for the rights of all workers in the sex industry at large.

“Sex work is legal, and advocating to take away women’s choice to do safe, legal work is anti-feminist and anti-worker.”

Spearmint Rhino club said they run professionally and impose strict rules at all of its establishments.

The letter can be viewed here: https://platform.organise.org.uk/campaigns/open-letter-to-sheffield-council-spearmint?fbclid=IwAR0Hxib2AR-m8y7w_PQRB93z4jQ6frKm-uJKlLEMtHAMJh7TOvzhvqlviio#signers-container

Written by Jiaming Ge

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