Hundreds sign letter in support of Spearmint Rhino

More than 600 people have signed a letter supporting workers at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield and calling for its licence to be renewed.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019, 09:08
Spearmint Rhino on Brown Street in Sheffield

The club has to go before the licensing board annually to get a new permit and although a meeting date has not yet been set, 625 people have already signed an open letter to Sheffield Council in favour of the club.

Last year there were around 160 letters of objection to the Brown Street venue when it was handed a fresh licence.

The open letter says: “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.

“We believe that sex work should not be stigmatised as uniquely or especially oppressive to women in the context of widespread misogyny and male violence against women.

“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.

“Refusing to relicense Spearmint Rhino would force the closure of the club and result in job losses, potentially leading to people seeking alternative work under more dangerous conditions.

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“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’s workers deserve agency over their bodies and economic security. We support their rights and freedom to choose and call upon the council to renew the licence, including any additional measures which have been put in place to ensure the safety of the workers.”

The letter calls upon the council to grant the renewal and to consult with the workers about whether there should be additional requirements to ensure their health and safety.

The letter adds: “Workers in the sex industry are best-served by laws and policies that seek to maintain their employment rights and involve them in meaningful participation in any discussion of law and policy that affects their lives and safety.

“The workers at Spearmint Rhino should be a priority group for the council to consult on licensing issues.”

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