This was written to dispel any rumors about protests that we are organizing and to make sure concerns for safety are being put at the forefront with AVFM coming into the Detroit Metro area.
As members of the original organizing committee from the June 7th action that called for the cancellation of the International Men’s Rights conference at the Detroit DoubleTree, we are writing this open letter to publicly denounce the conference that is happening this weekend in its new location. As local activists we are collectively speaking out against the horrific and vile hatred that A Voice for Men spreads on their website by blaming feminism as the root cause of men’s issues and not deconstructing how gender, class, race, sexual orientation, ability, body size etc distinctly impact the lives of people in our society.
Their continual promotion of violence through their writing should not be tolerated. Actions such as proclaiming that October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month be renamed to “Bash a Bitch Month,” saying women don’t just desire but beg to be raped and their hosting of a manifesto by Tom Ball that calls for the firebombing of court houses. We are not in opposition to real issues that men and boys face in our society but their hatred for women that they are using those issues to hide behind.
We have had numerous people reach out to us to let us know of the very real danger we could be in by protesting. Due to concerns for physical safety we have decided the best way to oppose the conference that is now going on in St. Clair Shores is to keep our distance. With AVFM’s history of attempting to provoke protestors, harassing individuals by following them to their cars or home, and filming or photographing them in order to release their private information online we don’t feel that protesting at the VFW hall could keep people reasonable safe.
While there may be others who decide to protest the conference, we want to make it perfectly clear that there are real concerns for safety. If you are planning to protest the conference, please make sure the people who are coming are informed enough about the kind of vicious tactics that AVFM has used to derail and trivialize the response to their own ideology.
Be in solidarity with us this weekend as we ensure the safety of our organizers and other protesters by tweeting to #NoMRA about why this conference and the beliefs of AVFM shouldn’t be tolerated.
(Names of organizers purposefully omitted to protect their identities)