UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb 3/15 5:05pm PST. According to website posts and twitter remarks, all worldwide meets have been apparently been cancelled for this Saturday.
On the group’s website, the organizer posted the following:
“I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not 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. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.”
A U.S. “pick up artist,” Daryush Valizadeh, who has published material suggesting rape inside a private home should be legal, had been planning a “meetup” in Victoria this weekend.
His group, Return of Kings, was to host gatherings Saturday night in 43 different countries. The intended meeting point in Victoria was the War Memorial statue at the BC Legislature grounds. According to their website:
“We will have 165 meetings in 43 countries for our international meetup day on February 6, 2016 at 8PM local time.”
“To identify your fellow tribesmen, ask the following question to a man you suspect is there for the meetup: “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?” If you are asked this question, answer in the affirmative: “Yes, it’s right here.” You can then introduce yourself and get details about where to proceed at 8:20. If you ask someone for the pet shop and they appear confused or actually try to direct you to a real pet shop, they’re not there for the meetup.”
The group believe rape should be legalised on private property and that women are biologically determined to follow the orders of men.
“These ideas that are hateful and misogynistic aren’t welcome here,”city councillor Jeremy Loveday tells CFAX.
The hashtag #turnawayreturnofkings has been trending on Twitter, with Vancouver’s Mayor’s office tweeting:
— Van Mayor's Office (@VanMayorsOffice) February 2, 2016
The Mayor of Ottawa has also made it clear that the group is not welcome in the city:
— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) February 2, 2016
Victoria police reached out to the public through social media networks, stating that they were aware of the gathering and will be keeping an eye on the situation. From the Victoria Police Department Facebook page:
“We’ve heard concerns from many of you about a group that is planning a meet-up in Victoria on Saturday. Please know that we are hearing you and are monitoring the situation. We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on this in order to ensure public safety. Thank you for bringing us your concerns. If you have a more immediate concern, please call us at (250) 995-7654.”
The following day, the City of Victoria released this statement: