Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/593/8042
Victory - Decent jobs not exploitation
Socialist Party members in Leytonstone, east London, held a protest on Thursday 10 September outside a local bar called Zulus, and scored a quick victory.
The bar had just started advertising an "oil-wrestling" event - where "hot babes" would wrestle in oil - ie a variant of high street lap-dancing and strip clubs.
As soon as we saw the degrading flyers being given out on the high street, we contacted the local press to warn against Waltham Forest borough being littered with empty shops and strip joints as a result of the recession, with no opportunities for young people.
The bar owners evidently want to improve their takings in this recession, and had allowed their bar to be hired by the organisers of this event. We went to confront the bar manager. A young woman worker behind the bar agreed with us that the event was disgusting.
We pointed out to the manager that evidence shows that when lap-dancing and similar clubs open in new areas, attacks on women increase. We told him that bosses and bankers have had an orgy of profits in recent years. Now they want workers to pay for their crisis, through losing our jobs and our homes and through devastating cuts to public services. We cannot accept that women in Leytonstone should be forced to pay for the crisis in this way. It is gross exploitation to profit from the desperation many young women will feel.
The manager said he would talk to the bar owner. We told him to warn the owner that we would organise a campaign of people who live and work in the area until Zulus cancelled this event. The fact that Socialist Party members had just helped organise a similar campaign in Lewisham, and managed to get a lap-dancing club shut down, obviously started to rattle him.
So, two days later we set up our protest outside the bar, with leaflets, petitions and a big banner saying "No oil-wrestling at Zulus Bar", "No to the exploitation of women". Within minutes we had support from local passers-by. After a very short time the manager came out to us. He announced that the event had been cancelled!
Not all campaigns win such a swift victory, but this certainly shows that campaigning works. Ordinary working class people do not have to accept the results of this crisis, whether that's by fighting to save jobs, defending our local communities, or making a stand against some of the more exploitative and degrading effects of capitalism.
In The Socialist 16 September 2009:
No Job Cuts
War and occupation
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party review
International socialist news and analysis