A strip club in New Westminster has become the target of a grade 12 social justice class from Coquitlam, who see it as an objectification of women.

Students from the Dr. Charles Best Secondary class are protesting the Paramount Gentleman’s Club on Columbia Street that’s been in operation for 20 years.

 “We believe the Paramount is supporting this sexualized society, and we don’t like that,” said secondary school student Adam MacDonald.  

On Saturday, the students were gathering signatures outside the club calling for its closure, but workers at the club were fighting back and staging a protest of their own. Workers say the students didn’t consider those that would be put out of a job if the club were to close.

“I’d like them to understand that we employ a lot of beautiful, intelligent women, who are empowered to make their own decisions about their bodies and about their path in life,” said Paramount dancer Ashley Pitts.

MacDonald said the point wasn’t to target this particular club or take away their jobs, but to spread the larger message.

 “We don’t want to take away these people’s jobs, we know they need to make a living somehow,” he said. “We just want to get the awareness out there, that this is objectifying women.”

The manager of the Paramount said the students should have tried to contact the club before trying to close them down.

The Paramount has a business license which makes them legally able to operate for the next five years.

With files by CTV British Columbia’s Julia Foy