Roosh V: protesters vow to disrupt Edinburgh, Glasgow events

Roosh V, real name Daryush Valizadeh, has organised the events.
Roosh V, real name Daryush Valizadeh, has organised the events.
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HUNDREDS of protesters have vowed to disrupt disciples of “pick-up artist” Roosh V when they gather in Edinburgh and Glasgow this weekend.

The American author, whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, has self-published 15 books in which he claims to advise men on how to “pick up women”.

Tommy Sheppard's motion against the meetings. Picture: Tommy Sheppard

Tommy Sheppard's motion against the meetings. Picture: Tommy Sheppard

But the books feature racial stereotypes and disturbing stories of how he has “bullied” and groomed drunk and young women into sleeping with him.

Roosh V – who reportedly believes rape should be legalised on public property – has organised an international meet-up, taking place in 40 countries around the world, at 8pm on Saturday evening for his followers.

Fans are expected to gather at the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, and Glasgow’s George Square, before heading to a “secret location”.

Only heterosexual men are permitted to attend the event, with warnings that any women who gather will be filmed – footage will then be shown to his “anti-feminist” network.

Close to 40,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the events, and SNP MP Tommy Sheppard has tabled a motion in Parliament condemning the meetings.

Various counter protests have been organised for Saturday at 8pm when the Return of the Kings meetings will take place in 43 countries around the world. 10 such meetings have been organised in Britain.

One protest under the name of ‘Scotland stands for equality’ has issued a statement stating: “We’re organising this protest in response to Roosh V inspired meetups in Scotland. This is a man who advocates for legalizing rape, and believes women are objects who exist to satisfy his needs.

“Sadly, his ideas have gained traction with disaffected men around the world, and this growing anti-woman movement challenges the very idea of a free and equal society.”

Edinburgh University’s Feminist Society has described Mr Valizadeh’s work as “incredibly dangerous”.

Kirsty Haigh, the president of Edinburgh University’s Feminist Society, who has organised the Edinbrugh protest, said: “The fact that anyone could think that attending such an event is remotely acceptable shows how ingrained misogyny is in our society.

“It’s utterly despicable that anyone should be advocating committing the crime of rape or encouraging men to prey on younger or drunk women.

“We’ve called our counter-demo as rape culture has to end but it won’t unless we actively start challenging it and calling these people out.

“We want the people attending to see their dangerous views have no place but also to empower people, especially victims, to show that there are people who do not think rape culture is okay and that we will fight these damaging beliefs.

“After only four hours we’ve already got 211 ‘interested’ in our event on Facebook so we’re expecting a big turnout.”

On his website advertising the event, Roosh has written that it is time for his supporters to “come out of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation”.

The author has gained worldwide notoriety through his misogynistic and pro-rape views.

Dr Marsha Scott, the chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid said: “This misogynist, hate-filled campaigner has no place in our Scotland or anywhere else for that matter.

“We will not be threatened nor silenced. If our current laws cannot sanction this kind of incitement to commit an offence, then we need new laws.

“We support Rape Crisis Scotland’s observation that perhaps we need an offence of incitement to hatred of women.”

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com