Spearmint Rhino strippers to continue with protest

Strippers and supporters of Spearmint Rhino will stage a protest next week ahead of a hearing to decide whether or not they will be shut down.

By Molly Williams, local democracy reporter
Sunday, 09 June, 2019, 21:45

The rally will take place on Tuesday, June 11 from 11:30am starting outside the strip club, on Brown Street, and marching to Sheffield Town Hall.

Gabby Willis, the women’s representative for Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, said she will be speaking at the event and said: “It’s going to be a really fun and empowering day despite the seriousness of what we’re trying to achieve.”

Almost 200 people have expressed interest or confirmed going to the protest on the event’s Facebook page.

Spearmint Rhino is currently under investigation by Sheffield City Council after a video secretly filmed inside the club by two ex police officers showed strippers breaching their licence.

The details of the sex acts were revealed in a full council meeting by members of the Women’s Equality Party, in which a number of elected councillors walked out saying it was ‘too graphic’.

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A decision on whether to renew their license was due to be made on June 11 but has been postponed due to the investigation.

It comes after strippers recently spoke out about the abuse they faced online, the impact of the precariousness of their jobs and how their license had gradually become stricter.

Heather Watson, 23, is a student and stripper at the club. She said without her job she fears she may have to quit her masters degree and leave Sheffield.

“The precariousness is really taking its toll on everyone. Every single year there is this feeling of ‘maybe we’re going to be shut down’ but this year it’s felt more likely.

“I think people are becoming more understanding of the industry but the campaigns against us are becoming more vicious.”