Petition update

Victory!

Sara Parker-Toulson
Roberts Creek, Canada

Aug 28, 2015 — I want to thank you for taking the time to read this petition and publicly take a stand against misogynist hate in Canada. It has been amazing to read your incredible comments, and to watch national support and public consensus growing on this issue as a direct result of your making your voices heard. Thanks to you, we have alerted hundreds of thousands of people to the threat of ‘RooshV’ and his growing misogynist movement, and have managed to send a clear message to it’s supporters: you are NOT WELCOME IN CANADA.

While the CBSA response to our petition was disappointing, the local community, governmental, and national responses amount to nothing short of victory. Hearing that ‘RooshV’ was in Canada attempting to spread his ‘message’ disturbed many thousands of Canadians, and his presence and our protests quickly became national news. A movement of women’s rights advocates and human rights supporters was quickly mobilized, and loud demonstrations were held in both Montreal and Toronto. Online, thousands tweeted and posted their utter disgust with ‘RooshV’ and his misogynist views, inspiring thousands more.

As your signatures grew, so did governmental support at all levels. Quebec opposition critic for the Status of Women Carole Poirier voiced her opposition clearly, as did Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee. Within hours of revising the petition in order to ask that ‘RooshV’ be refused accommodation in Montreal, Toronto, and Mississauga, Mayor John Tory, Mayor Denis Coderre, and Mayor Bonnie Crombie all made public statements denouncing ‘RooshV’ and supporting our opposition to his presence, calling ‘RooshV’s writing ‘hate speech’. Canadian political legend Norm Kelly publicly lent his support and was interviewed by several media outlets on the issue, further underlining how united Canadians truly are against misogynist hate in this country.

NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, a truly effective political leader whose reputation as an LGBT and feminist advocate are well-known and respected across Canada, lent integral support to us as we organized and campaigned in Toronto. I had the pleasure of meeting with her in her office to discuss both the campaign and the planned demonstration in Queens Park, and her speech at the demonstration was outstanding. Connecting ‘RooshV’s misogynist hate with the lived realities of sexual assault women experience everyday, she spoke powerfully and forcefully to the need for us to recognize the firm connections between misogyny, ‘RooshV’, and the fact that 1 out of every 2 women in Canada experiences sexual assault and/or gendered violence in their lifetimes.

Your signatures created a public consensus that ‘RooshV’ himself was deeply afraid of. Not only did he keep the locations of his ‘lectures’ private and secret, he was forced to re-book and switch venues several times after business owners were informed of who he was. He was greeted with loud opposition everywhere he went, finally hiding in a remote extended-stay hotel room deep in Mississauga, afraid to venture out. From the safety of his computer, he launched several online ‘campaigns’ to dehumanize and denigrate every woman who had spoken out publicly against him, even soliciting his followers to make false reports to the BC Ministry of Social Services in order to have my children taken from me. Many women were the subject of deeply personal and violent threats which were investigated by police. Despite this, he stayed holed up in his hotel, fearing public identification and arrest. Although he refused to leave before giving his ‘talks’, attendance was dismal, his followers dwindling in the context of our campaign to expose him. He and his followers know now that they are NOT WELCOME here, that Canada is a terrible place to try and build a misogynist hate movement. That is a true victory.

We are still standing, we are still talking, we are still working. Now, a woman from the UK has launched a hugely successful petition to Amazon.com to stop selling ‘RooshV’s hate literature on its website. In his books, he not only preaches misogyny but also advocates for rape as a legitimate aspect of ‘game’ (interacting with women) and describes several rapes he himself has committed. Why does Amazon.com support the dissemination of misogynist hate? They are not obligated to do so! I link to this important petition below and urge you to sign and forward it widely. It has garnered well over 160000 signatures!!!! Please add your voice!


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