Edinburgh strip clubs: Fundraiser launched to help with legal costs as United Sex Workers fight strip club ban in the Capital

Sex workers whose jobs hang in the balance after Edinburgh City Council voted to ban strip clubs in the Capital are raising money to help launch a legal battle against the decision.

At the end of March, Edinburgh City Council voted in favour of banning Sexual Entertainment Venue licenses, giving strip clubs in the Capital only a year before they have to close.

This decision was met with anger from workers in the affected venues, and in response, a fundraiser has been launched to help with legal costs amid preparations to fight the council in court.

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The fundraiser has been set up by United Sex Workers, a UK wide group looking to improve working conditions for strippers and sex workers.

“Strip club bans violate workers' rights at a time of severe economic crisis,” said the union, which aims to raise £20,000.

"They form part of a wider attempt by the state to oppress precarious workers and dictate what women and other minorities can do with their bodies.

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"We have a legal team in place to challenge the nil-cap's compatibility with the Equality Act 2010 and are confident we will win. But we need your help.”

More than £3,000 has already been raised, and the USW said any leftover cash “will be distributed as hardship funds for our members who have suffered loss of earnings due to the SEV nil-cap”.

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"As a union we remain committed to transparency and a full breakdown of spending from this fundraiser will be provided.”

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There are four strip clubs in Edinburgh and around 100 dancers will be put out of work should the clubs in the Capital closed.

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There were several protests in the city during the council’s deliberations, and the Edinburgh Evening News spoke to many of them at the time.

Dancer Bonnie, a mum-of-three, said: "Demand won't stop if they shut us down. The council have no idea what they’re doing.

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"They’ve just ignored what we told them about safety. It feels like we’re being unfairly targeted for the wrong reasons, it’s not about our safety. It’s a vendetta.”

Sarah, 37, added: "There’s no way it’s about our safety. This smacks of slut-shaming. When it suits we are either victims or sluts.”

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The ban will kick in in April 2023.