So, it finally happened. The men’s rights lecture and rally in Toronto that A Voice for Men have been breathlessly promoting for weeks — in no less than 17 separate posts — have both come to pass. Men’s Rights celebrities flew in from across the continent to attend the exciting events. Paul Elam was there! So was Karen Straughan! Even Dan Perrins made an appearance! (Oh, wait, I think he lives around there.)
In a post-rally post, AVFM’s Robert O’Hara declared the “Historic MHRA rally in Toronto” to have been a “huge success.”
Well, you can be the judge of that. Go here to watch some actual footage of the event. (Sorry, I can’t get it to embed here.) So far I’ve only watched the final 8-minute video at the top of the page, but it’s pretty revealing in and of itself. The event organizers almost outnumber the sparse crowd. And one of the speakers calls for MRAs to take up arms against their “communist” opponents. No, really, just watch.
In case the video gets pulled, or censored, I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing his remarks: :
There’s an organization out there called communism, and the communist manifesto says that the first thing they have to do is take over power. And they’ll never get elected. And they know that they’ll never get elected. So what they do is they say “we have to take power by violent methods,” right, so if you want to crack back against these people, I hate to say it, but you’ve gotta be prepared to pick up a gun and put down the books.
Someone in the audience responds to this with a hearty “yep!” There’s a smattering of applause, mixed with boos. AVFM’s Dean Esmay hurridly ushers the speaker away from the microphone.
The speaker who follows Esmay — I didn’t catch his name — describes the counterprotesters (who held their own rally nearby) as being of “the hammer and sickle” and denigrates them as “queers.”
This isn’t so much history being made as history repeating itself. I suspect the rhetoric was similar at a lot of White Citizen Council rallies in the sixties.
Oh, and the HISTORIC LECTURE that so many MRAs were hoping and dreaming that feminists would disrupt? Feminists ignored it. Apparently, according to one MRA on Reddit who claimed to have been there, a little more than a hundred people showed up.
Congratulations, A Voice for Men, on your FLAWLESS VICTORY!
I’ll watch as much of the rest of the rally as I can force myself to sit through, and add anything else worth adding.
EDITED TO ADD: I watched the video that covered the rest of the rally. It was pretty uneventful: a low energy, sparsely attended rally with a bunch of half-assed speeches. Apparently no one at A Voice for Men or CAFE, the co-host of the rally, bothered to prepare anything to say — perhaps because they were all expecting some sort of feminist riot? The “pick up a gun” speaker wasn’t one of the scheduled speakers, just someone they gave the microphone to when he raised his hand after the scheduled speakers were done.
One moment that did stand out: a trans man — apparently a member of CAFE — briefly took the mic, taking offense at the chants from the counterprotestors calling MRA’s “anti-gay.” I would suggest he take a look at AVFM’s not-so-proud history of homophobia and transphobia.
EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: Here’s a picture of the event from Civilian Media. You can almost taste the excitement! From left, Nick Reading of Men’s Rights Edmonton, Dean Esmay of AVFM, the legendary Paul Elam (looking a little bewildered), and two other dudes. Paul evidently HEARTS Fucking Their Shit Up. Oh, Paul, we HEART U!