Plans for an anti-women group to meet on Saturday night in Australia’s capital cities has sparked outrage online, with a petition asking police to stop the meetings already circulating on the internet.
The founder of the Return of Kings website, US-based “neomasculinist” and legal rape advocate Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, has organised the meeting of his supporters in 43 locations world wide.
The former sex discrimination commissioner Liz Broderick tweeted: “The views espoused by Return of Kings are deeply offensive and have no place in Australia.” The tweet was later deleted.
“They want us to know they hate us,” wrote author and commentator Melinda Tankard Reist.
“Any meetings will tank,” wrote Greens Senator Larissa Waters.
One of the Return of Kings meetings is planned at Archibald Fountain in Sydney’s Hyde Park.
A representative of City of Sydney Council said the council “are making sure the police know about the meeting”.
Solicitor Stephen Blanks, the President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said there may be grounds for police to disrupt the meeting.
“If the organisers of the assembly don’t give one week’s notice to the police then the police may enforce the law about unlawful assembly and obstruction against the people who participate,” Mr Blanks said.
“Defending the right of free speech involves providing opportunities to people to express opinions which society appals and rejects. The right to free speech does not include the right to advocate violence in any way that may encourage actual violence against women or anyone else.
“If this group is stepping over that boundary, they have no right to assembly.”
Police said they were aware of a number of meetings of Return of Kings supporters occurring on Saturday night across Sydney and would monitor these areas to ensure there were no breaches of the peace.
Mr Valizadeh, who will not be present at the events in Australia, has said that women, transgender men and homosexual men are not to attend, even though the meetings will begin in public spaces.
The Sydney meeting points for the event will be held in three locations – the Hyde Park Fountain, park benches outside the Coogee Beach Pavilion and the shopping strip at Brighton Le Sands.
In a post on Return of Kings, Mr Valizadeh advised supporters to film and photograph protesters and send the footage to his personal email so he could, “tear them up”.
Social media lit up at the news, with men and women expressing outrage that the meeting would occur.
It is the first time Mr Valizadeh has attempted to organise meetings between his supporters face-to-face.
“Our views are becoming known enough that we can ‘come out’ of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation,” said Mr Valizadeh in a post on the website.
“Let the sixth of February be a clear signal to all that we’re not going anywhere. We have finally arrived.”
According to its “About’ page, the Return of Kings tenets are, “A woman’s value significantly depends on her fertility and beauty. A man’s value significantly depends on his resources, intellect, and character.”
“Elimination of traditional sex roles and the promotion of unlimited mating choice in women unleashes their promiscuity and other negative behaviors that block family formation,” it says.
Articles written by Mr Valizadeh and Return of Kings’ contributors express views that women should not be able to vote, that rape on private property should be legalised, that transgender women who sleep with heterosexual men are rapists and that women are biologically determined to follow the orders of men.
Mr Valizadeh has been retweeting reactions to the meeting on his Twitter page.