The followers of an American man who advocates for the legalization of rape on private property are planning a Vancouver meet-up.
Dayrush Valizadeh, known online simply as Roosh V, runs the controversial Return of Kings website that also discusses topics like “female privilege,” and taking away voting rights for women. Valizedeh also published a book titled Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays in 2007.
165 meet-ups in 43 countries have been planned around the world to discuss ideas based on Valizadeh’s teachings, all occurring on Saturday, February 6. There are 10 planned Canadian meet-ups, including two in the Metro Vancouver area.
Mayor Gregor Robertson told Vancity Buzz in a statement that Valizadeh’s teachings have no place in Vancouver.
“Vancouver is known throughout the world for our steadfast commitment to inclusion, equality, and freedom from discrimination and hatred. We strive for all residents to feel safe regardless of their gender, sexuality, faith, or ethnicity – and the violent and hateful positions spread by this organization are about as far apart from Vancouver’s values as I can imagine.”
The mayor also took to Twitter to express his distaste for the group.
— Gregor Robertson (@MayorGregor) February 3, 2016
Mayors in other Canadian cities have spoken out against meet-ups to advocate Valizadeh’s teachings as well. Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi and Ottawa mayor Jim Watson have both been vocal on Twitter about Valizadeh.
What he said. Goes double for Calgary. Thanks for your leadership on this, Jim. https://t.co/xyD7T1o1wA
— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) February 2, 2016
Originally, the meet-up was planned for the south side of the Vancouver Public Library, but as the group garnered local media attention, the location was replaced with an email address and a series of steps one must take to learn its secret location.
A local women’s rights group called Guerrilla Feminist Collective is planning a peaceful protest outside the original location.
“What we want to do is create a positive counter-protest in response to this negativity,” Guerrilla Feminist Collective co-founder Jennifer Kim told Vancity Buzz. “Our motivation isn’t to ban people from gathering or meeting or thinking the wrong thing – I think it’s good that it’s been revealed that these kinds of people exist.”
Kim said her group is adamant about keeping the protest non-violent and without confrontations or contact – what she says is the exact opposite of Valizadeh’s teachings.
“I think it’s interesting that they are emboldened enough to be so public and that they are trying to build a kind of movement, but we’ve seen this in many other sectors of society – people who are anti-immigration, anti-refugee, anti-gay, and these people also subscribe to these kinds of hateful prejudices as well.”
If you want to join their peaceful protest, visit their Facebook event page to learn more.