Protest against pro-rape blogger's meetup still planned for Vancouver
A Vancouver meetup for followers of pro-rape blogger “Roosh V" has been cancelled, but a protest against the event is still slated to go forward.
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A Vancouver meeting planned for devotees of pro-rape blogger “Roosh V” may have been cancelled, but protesters say that won’t stop them from still gathering Saturday to rally against misogyny and to raise funds for women’s shelters.
Protest co-organizer Jennifer Kim of the grassroots feminist group Guerrilla Feminist Collective said about 400 people are planning on attending the peaceful protest taking place outside the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch on Saturday.
“I think people are still really fired up,” she told Metro. “Even when the event was cancelled, I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about some of these issues that are ongoing. Just because they cancelled doesn’t mean that we won.”
On Wednesday evening, American blogger Daryush Valizadeh, known online as "Roosh V," posted to his website Return of Kings that he was cancelling a series of worldwide meet-ups planned for Saturday after being unable to guarantee the safety of those attending.
A self-styled “pick-up artist, Valizadeh has attracted outrage for blog posts that call women misogynistic names and argue that rape should be legal on private property.
The meetups sparked public backlash and raised the ire of mayors across Canada this week, including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who said Valizadeh and his event would not be welcome in this city.
“I take issue and I know very many Vancouverites would be very disappointed to hear that group meeting here,” Robertson told reporters Wednesday. “The speech, the values that they have put out there are disgusting and frankly hate-based, so I have real concerns about that happening.”
While she was pleased to see the event cancelled, Kim said she still believes there is a need to spark a conversation and raise awareness of issues like racism, homophobia, and misogyny, which she said still exists at a “systemic level."
“It just comes down to being sick and tired of this attitude,” she said. “It will be an opportunity to get the conversation going.”
Saturday’s protest starts at 7:30 p.m. in the atrium outside the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch.
With files from Matt Kieltyka.