Men’s Rights Activists Are Planning Meetups Across Britain On Saturday

Return of Kings, the online home of Men's Rights Activism and 'neomasculinity', headed up by Roosh.V are planning international 'tribal meetings' for their members this weekend

Men's Rights Activists Are Planning Meetups Across Britain On Saturday

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

Many people are, understandably, concerned that Men’s’ Rights Activists group Return of Kings are planning meet ups across the world this coming Saturday, February 6th. In particular there are many planned in the US, Canada, Germany and the UK.

Just in case you haven’t heard of Roosh V (real name Daryush Valizadeh), his Men’s’ Rights Activist site Return of Kings and missed the BBC 3 documentary Men at War, presented by Reggie Yates, about them here’s your need to know.

Who exactly is Roosh V?

Self-proclaimed 'anti-femininst' Roosh is the author of several books which, ostensibly, contain a pick up artist’s advice but are in effect considered by many to be pro-rape. His ‘Bang…’ series entails several guides on how to have sex with women in different countries around the world. His top tips include classics like ‘stop asking for permission’ and ‘defeat bedroom resistance.’ He has also called for rape to be made legal because, he says, then girls will stop feeling raped. He has since defended these remarks, claiming that they were satirical. Sounds a lot like the lolz joke ‘it’s not rape if you shout banter’, which, obviously, isn’t funny at all.

There is currently a petition calling on Amazon to stop stocking his books.

What is Return of Kings?

Roosh himself is a self-styled ‘neo-masculinist’ and pick up artist, he created Return of Kings, a group which basically supports and promotes the idea that men are superior to women and that feminism is an oppressive force. It’s worth noting that Return of Kings is for heterosexual men only and that the site has distinctly homophobic undertones.

On their website they describe themselves like this:

‘ROK aims to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed in favor of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that allows women to assert superiority and control over men. Sadly, yesterday’s masculinity is today’s misogyny.’

What’s happening on Saturday?

Return of Kings are planning to hold 165 international, world wide, IRL ‘tribal meetings’ in 43 countries. Next to America, Canada and Germany the UK has the largest number of listed ‘meet ups’, there are 8 listed at present. The group says they hope the IRL meetups will ‘serve men in a way that Internet sites do not.’ Members are told to identify themselves and their ‘tribesmen’ by arriving at a specific location and asking for ‘directions to a pet shop.’

The Return of Kings has issued warnings next to the listings for Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle and Shrewsbury which read ‘Warning: protest likely.’ Rather oddly, most of the locations are public places in major cities like George Square in Glasgow or in front of the Royal Exchange beside horseman statue (outside Bank tube station) in London, while in Shrewsbury they list Frankwell car park as the meet up location.

How are people reacting?

A Facebook page has been set up to protest the Glasgow meetup called ‘Glaswegians Against RooshV’. There is also a 38 Degrees petition calling for him to be banned which argues:

‘RooshV, a militant pro-rape pick-up artist is holding gatherings for his followers in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This makes our cities unsafe for at least half the population. Promoting rape is hate speech, and should be treated as such.’

Roosh V is crying ‘free speech’ but, surely that’s no defence for advocating rape, a criminal offence.

What are the police doing about this? Are they doing anything?

The Debrief contacted all of the British police forces who are responsible for areas where Return of Kings have proposed meetups: Cardiff (South Wales Police), Edinburgh and Glasgow (Police Scotland), Leeds (West Yorkshire Police), London (Metropolitan Police), Manchester (Greater Manchester Police), Newcastle (Northumbria Police) and Shrewsbury (West Mercia Police).

London’s Metropolitan Police press office said that they had not heard of Roosh V and were not aware of Return of Kings and would not comment on operational procedure anyway. We are still waiting to receive comments from West Yorkshire Police and Northumbria Police.

However, West Mercia Police said:

‘West Mercia Police are aware of a gathering which is being planned to take place in Shrewsbury on Saturday 6 February. We will be monitoring the situation very carefully together with our local partners, and will provide a proportionate response.’

‘Extra patrols will be in place to ensure the gathering remains peaceful, should it take place, and officers will take appropriate action if anyone acts outside of the law.’

Greater Manchester Police told The Debrief:

‘Greater Manchester Police are aware that a public figure from another country has posted messages on a website encouraging meetings in a number of different countries to discuss his ideologies. These meetings have rightly raised many concerns within the local community as well as gathered attention on social media however due to the amount of venues and countries listed; it is unclear whether or not anybody is actually planning on attending.’

‘Furthermore despite social media speculation it is not entirely clear what anyone attending actually wishes to discuss or share thoughts on.’

‘Police will continue to monitor social media and have spoken to all licensees and hoteliers in the city centre and there will be a police presence in the area around the time the meeting is due to go ahead.’

A Spokesperson for Police Scotland said:

‘Police Scotland is aware of the proposed pick up artist events in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Saturday evening. Our focus remains on keeping communities safe and our response will be proportionate, appropriate and will be determined by the circumstances of any incident or event.’

‘The comments that have featured on social media and the Internet have caused a great deal of anxiety to communities. It must be stressed that any offensive or threatening behaviour whether in public or online will be investigated and appropriate action taken. Police Scotland will continue to monitor social media and investigate any criminality that is identified.’

‘Our message is clear, sex without consent is rape. We will continue to robustly investigate all reports of sexual crime, working with partners to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.’

Up until now Return of Kings have remained relatively little known and, largely, online. What’s worrying about these meetups is that these men, who actively believe that they are superior to women, and that feminism is an oppressive force being used against them and, even, follow to writings of a man who has openly and categorically dismissed rape as an issue and, even, advocated it, will no longer be trolls communicating with one another online but coming together in public places across Britain.

UPDATE: On Thursday 4th February Roosh V released a statement via the Return of Kings website saying that he has decided to cancel Saturdays meetups because he cannot guarantee the 'safety and privacy' of the people who might want to attend. He apologised to his supporters, his fellow 'tribesmen' for 'letting them down' writing,

'I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend...especially since most of the meetups cannot be made private in time. While I can't stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations.'

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Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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