With no particular surprise it has come to our attention that there are efforts underway to prevent us from following through with AVFM’s First International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit, June 26-28.
Among other efforts there is a protest planned for Saturday, June 7 in the Grand Circus Park Historic District.
We remind you that this is a protest designed to silence the voice of people like Erin Pizzey, the woman who started the battered women’s shelter movement; to silence Sen. Anne Cools, the first Black female Senator in North America and founder of one of its first battered women’s shelters; to silence Dr. Warren Farrell, former chairperson for the National Organization for Women and ranked as one of the top 100 thinkers of the Twentieth Century by Financial Times.
That is just to name a few.
More importantly, it is an effort to silence the issues; to silence the voice of half of humanity.
While I find the nature and intent of this protest to be beneath simple contempt, I nonetheless value the right of free speech. That includes speech that is designed to bait others into reaction.
We are even aware that now the protestors are seeking “actors” to use in some fashion. The idea that these actors are likely intended to pose as MHRAs committing misdeeds is clearly within the realm of possibility.
For this reason and others, I am instructing all AVFM staff to NOT attend this demonstration for any reason. Ignoring this request will be taken as an immediate resignation from your position with AVFM, regardless of what that position is. No exceptions.
I strongly encourage any MHRA that genuinely values our mission to consider that there is nothing whatsoever to be gained by attending this event and engaging these people in any way. Indeed, there could be much to lose in doing so.
Our event is on June 26-29. We have a contract. And we have a program that is approaching being sold out. We are going to continue and will deal with any hurdles that come our way. But we will not engage with pranksters, misfits and thugs. Much better to leave them to the Detroit Police Department, whom we are informing of everything we can find out about the protestors in advance.
I ask everyone at AVFM and the MHRM to remember why we are having this conference. It is to highlight the issues faced by men and boys, not to indulge the violent fantasies of gender ideologues.
Regarding the conference itself, please accept a word of caution. There could be protests there as well. In fact, it would be a bit surprising if there were not.
It will be the objective of our security team, from the head down, to see that anyone who violates the law, causes illegal disruptions, incites or acts out in any way violent, is placed in handcuffs and leaves the facility in a police cruiser.
We do not care if you call yourself a feminist, an MRA, MHRA or something else. Anyone acting out illegally will go to jail, and AVFM will cover travel and other expenses of those needed to go back to Detroit to testify against them later at legal proceedings.
I know this may sound harsh, but above all it is our objective to host a safe and secure conference which allows us to further the mission we all value.