On CAFE, Free Speech and the Ryerson University Extortion Racket

This work brings with it opportunities for humility aplenty. That is what happens when you deal with a population of disaffected people, and especially when that disaffection is the subject of great social denial.

Such was the case not so long ago when I opened an envelope that I found in the AVFM PO Box. It contained a note, and three single American Dollars. It was a donation to AVFM, and on the piece of paper was scrawled, get this, an apology for not having given more. The donor explained that after paying child-support, a percentage of arrears and “trying” to buy enough food, he had little that he could give. He said he would try to give more if his life ever got better.

I will spare you the details of my reaction except to say that I am glad I was sitting in my car alone and not still inside the postal store when I read it. Even as I sit here and think about it again, I am thankful to be alone.

It is situations like this that I can and must remember when I consider the current situation regarding the upcoming lecture of Karen Straughan at Ryerson University, sponsored by CAFE — and the protection racket scam that Ryerson University is now allowing to taint the event. For some details on what is happening I refer you to the statement made by CAFE earlier today that is now posted on this website.

For a more blunt observation, let me try to encapsulate what is actually happening here. It appears that the Ryerson Student Union, the very same group of fascist thugs that preemptively declared that any attempt to speak to men’s issues at that school was to be summarily judged as a misogynistic attempt to undermine women’s progress, has alarmed the school administration of potential security problems (that the fascist thugs themselves will create) in order to force the school to hire additional security for the Straughan lecture — thus charging CAFE an additional $1,600.00 in “security” fees.

The intent here is obvious. Bleed CAFE of their ability to host lectures by threatening to act out violently, forcing CAFE to pay in order to exercise “freedom” of expression.

They did it at the University of Toronto. They are doing it at Ryerson. And part of the unholy arrangement is that CAFE is now forced into a smaller lecture hall that only seats 100 people. That too, as far as I know, was a university administration call, the rationale being that when fire alarms are pulled they will only disrupt the event, and not students in other classes.

One way of looking at this is that it is not such a big deal. $1,600.00 is a serious bit of money, but not world shaking. Well, not world shaking unless you are a refugee from family court struggling to get food on the table; that struggle having a positive side only in that it serves as slight distraction from the heart-crushing absence of your children.

And that, folks, represents a fair amount of people that finance us, CAFE, and every other men’s rights initiative going. We have a handful of donors who can afford to make substantial offerings, the kind that make or break efforts like these. No less important are the donors that leave you wiping tears off your face when you get their donation.

There has been spirited debate within the very vocal group of AVFM editors, contributors and supporters in our inner circle about what is happening in Toronto. While opinions are diverse, there seems to be universal agreement on some basic principles.

One, setting the standard that men’s advocacy groups are willing pay off university administrations who are either ignorant of the issues or who willfully collude in the ongoing extortion of money for “free speech,” is dangerous and unwise. It is a standard that does not just affect CAFE, and those who contribute to their good work. AVFM also has efforts to establish men’s issues groups in colleges as evidenced by KSUM at Kennesaw State University. We do not plan on stopping there. Also, the National Coalition for Men (NCFM) has a group at Montana State University with plans to expand to other schools.

Training the feminist academic establishment to know they can harm us financially with illegal, disruptive behavior is a mistake that will cause detriment to every current effort afoot to further this badly needed advocacy.

Accepting the underhanded tactics of feminists as a routine “cost of doing business” which is transferred directly onto the backs of the disenfranchised men we are supposedly seeking to serve is not an option.

In this particular circumstance, however, we have the unique situation of having Karen Straughan, one of the most important and articulate anti-feminists speakers known, scheduled in just days to speak at one of the most virulently hateful and anti-male institutions of higher education known – Ryerson University.

Also mitigating this scenario is CAFE, which has included in its statement language that indicates it is not staying on the path of paying for the right to speak.

To be more specific:

It involves finding ways to meet our commitment to host events for the sake of those students who will benefit, while using the opportunity to put on a positive show in order to build a good relationship with University administrations. And when necessary, it also means taking whatever action is required to guarantee our fundamental rights and freedoms under the law.

I have reasons to believe, which I am not at liberty to go into at this time, that this statement is an indication that CAFE does not plan to continue on a path of approaching schools with their hat in hand, obsequiously pleading for the right to be heard, and willing to pay money, some of it given by people who scarcely have it, in order to enjoy the same freedom of expression afforded to every other Canadian citizen.

In fact, at this time I believe so much that this to be the case that I have donated $250.00 to CAFE in order to help them with this effort. If you can afford it, I ask you to consider supporting them as well.

But I do so acutely aware of where this money comes from and the sacrifice it represents. I will not be a party to keeping organizations flush, using the money of those who are not, for the sake of saving them from a principled and unambiguous fight for their rights.

I believe in the work of CAFE. And I believe that they are on the correct path, but the time is also here for all of us to recognize and remember that we are fighting for the underdog, not the other way around.


*Important update*: Ryerson University’s President Sheldon Levy has announced that Ryerson will not charge the security fee but will absorb the cost of extra security, to protect free expression principles on his university. Well done President Levy. This is a strong rebuke to the fascist forces that so scurrilously tried to sabotage the event. –DE

  • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

    CAFE needs to let us know: Will there be a live stream and a high quality video of this event? Is there a possibility that Ryerson corruption will interfere “at the last minute? The university censors have demanded that the physical audience participation be stripped down to a measly 100 persons. Yet, I know for a fact that the interested audience for this event stretches across the globe and thus a live feed guarantee seems to be in order and the possibility of any “glitch” in the creation of a permanent record must be dealt with. Under no circumstances should Ms. Straughan, speak a single word until the legal protection of the filming and preservation of the events record is in place: 100% in place — even if it requires an attorney”s presence, with a special security guard to protect that attorney, if necessary.

    • http://blog.StudioBrule.com Steve Brulé

      The Livestream will be here: http://youtu.be/0xe57q1lqHE

      There are many factors out of our control, including stability of the wired internet connection. We have still not received confirmation of the wired connection service since the location was changed. I have a backup plan for loss of connection, but this too is a first attempt at livestreaming this sort of event with no budget.

      Please advise everyone that we are streaming the event, and that we will do our utmost best to see that it is uninterrupted and that YouTube viewers can interact with Karen through sharing of comments and questions from viewers.

      • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

        Thanks for the update.

        The observation, “with no budget” is one which is, to put it mildly, fraught with deep irony.

      • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

        Have several people handy to use their smartphone as a WiFi hotspot. I believe it is called tethering.

        Also, this current trend will not stand! I strongly urge CAFE to do some old school civil disobedience, and start hosting events when the weather is nicer right out front, in the open, and start using tethered hotspots so you don’t need anything from the university.

        With AVFM doing the lead blocker’s work online, Ryerson, UofT, and others will be shamed continuously. Just the thought of negative stereotyping being labeled on them will be enough for them to back down. their cowards. They are trying to use this weak tactic to take you down. Call them out on it, save your money, and do it in the cold! Do it for free, and dare these bastards to arrest you for freedom of speech practice. I doubt they will do it. Especially when they know that their weak arses will be on viral videos all over the net, and their name along with it. They aren’t brave.

        Don’t pay them anything. Cancel the event at their place, pay them no money, nad dare the feminists to come out and debate in the open! Give Karen a bull horn! Show she can shout louder then they can.

        I strongly advocate that you all use all the “I need men’s rights because…….!” when in a shouting match with them. Have video ready. When they know that they will face a lawsuit, make sure you have a power hungry, but willing attorney present so you can attack them, and file for damages.

        There has got to be a better way. They are puffed up bull frogs. They are not the snakes they want you to think they are. They are not that cunning.

        • strix (David King)

          Beware, mobile connectivity is usually not good enough (and it’s not just bandwidth, packet loss, latency and jitter pretty much suck as well) for this sort of job, particularly not indoors where bandwidth is further eroded.

          I am hoping that wired bandwidth was written into the contract (if not, that’s a learning experience right there), and that if the new venue cannot supply it, then Ryerson will be held to account for breach of that contract (if that is actually possible). My suspicion is, though, that they aren’t obliged to provide any connectivity.

          ETA: A decent alternative would be to stream audio over mobile live, then upload the video after the fact.

          Steve, I do suggest that you practice for this contingency, because such things are much easier said than done 😉

      • criolle johnny

        Tried to watch the video but got:
        “This video is private.”
        Wonder how THAT happened?!

        • Fredrik

          The live stream is over. I anticipate an upload of the recording, but editing and whatnot takes time. You’re in-between right now.

    • earth one

      A live feed and high-quality, video record of every moment of the experience – from CAFE’s and Karen Straughan’s perspective, with a follow-up video embed to broadcast globally from as many Men’s Right’s web pages as possible.

  • http://www.avoiceformalestudents.com Jonathan Taylor (TCM)

    “Training the feminist academic establishment to know they can harm us financially with illegal, disruptive behavior is a mistake that will cause detriment to every current effort afoot to further this badly needed advocacy.”

    I cannot agree more. Quite simply, this has to be the last time we ask those men already being bled dry empty what little they have left in their coffers for a “security fee.”

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      Amen. I just “won my court case” this past fall to the tune of 45,000 dollars, in order to get only joint legal decision making after the demonic witch left for Europe without informing me.

      That is a victory? If it is, it is a Pyrrhic Victory!

      CAFE cannot do the same. If I had money, I try to budget at least 500-100/month. But that is what I pay to creditors, attorneys, and child support enforcement. All the “spending money” and then some, I have is spent towards corrupt bureaucrats.

  • MGTOW-man

    I knew this would happen. The very moment I read that Karen was to speak there, I also knew the truth-haters and feminists thugs would come to try and stop her and us.

    Gosh. I just can’t understand how so many people can be sooooo duped by feminism—absolutely made into foolish, naive had-suckers so easily and consistently..

    As far as a donation, I had already planned to donate some money in the future precisely because of Karen’s event,,,as I love action against the hatred of men and boys. I can’t make my donation immediately due to the way my income becomes reality for me, but I WILL, in time, give to those fine folks. So I am hoping some other MHRA’s will cover for me knowing full-well that I will send in some money as soon as I can. I have never lied about any of my donations and I never will.

    Not knowing a lot about Canadian law, but in a fair country this practice by femi-bullies must be unconstitutional. Is it in CAFE plans to sue? A supreme court equivalent? This fight will get very expensive. CAFE needs all the support it can get.

    We have got to find a way around this circumvention. They simply can’t continue to get away with their censoring behavior. What are they so afraid of? Why do they detest the truth we speak? Why are they not jumping at the chance to prove us the “hate-filled meanies” they claim about us? They could plaster egg all over our faces; why won’t they? Why do they want to shut down any chance of an impending debate with us openly and unedited?

    Truth is their number one enemy and we must ward off their hatred!

  • http://pinterest.com/zetapersei/male-privilege/ Perseus

    Goebbels would be proud of the censorship and suppression tactics.

    OT: http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/02/wikipedia-is-very-masculine-so-feminists-pledge-to-fix-it/

  • BenJames

    (A) Any reason why a few volunteers with phone cameras couldn’t be posted at the fire alarms to deter or unable to deter to film the people responsible for falsely setting them off?

    (B) Shouldn’t the university agree that at the very least a good part of the security provided (and paid for!) is to ensure fire alarms aren’t set off without due cause the event itself is protected? If not, what is the point of ‘security’? who and what purpose is it serving otherwise?

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      “Any reason why a few volunteers with phone cameras couldn’t be posted at the fire alarms to deter or unable to deter to film the people responsible for falsely setting them off?”

      Shouldn’t that be covered by the $1,600.00?

      • http://www.avoiceformalestudents.com Jonathan Taylor (TCM)

        For fucking real.

        And many mid/upper level universities nowadays have video surveillance in place. If Ryerson does as well, it shouldn’t cost them anything extra. Meaning it shouldn’t be covered by the $1,600. It should just be basic and included for anyone who visits their campus.

      • scatmaster

        Shouldn’t that be covered by the $1,600.00?

        Oh, Paul sometimes you are so naive. 😉

        • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

          That’s me :) Naive Paul.

      • BenJames

        yes, that’s my point -They cant have it both ways: . clearly if the precedent exists that CAFE need to pay for more security because of likely disruption, surely the precedent equally exists that those disrupting the event will use this tactic and they should be prevented from using it.

        Could CAFE get some explicit confirmation that the security provided will at the very least do that? the other two times it appeared their sole function was to stop people going in!

    • nawotsme

      As someone who used to organise security for college events i find this ridiculous. During my time at the college we hosted some art shows that were considered controversial, and expected trouble. The responsibility for security of the building was mine, not the student groups organising the events.

      Is it possible to provide your own security, or must you use the company contracted to the college?

      • nawotsme

        I do not believe that you can be forced to use the services of the security company contracted to the college. They are saying that extra security is required, and that you should pay for it. They can dictate how much extra security, ie 4 extra guards, but not who provides this service. The college has a contract with a security company, but you don’t.

        The contract they have with the security company will not allow any other company to provide services on campus. I believe that if you push them on this they will back down. They will be in breach of contract with the security company if they allow another company to provide the service, but can not force you to use them if your paying. The security company would defend this vigorously.

        The college contracts manager or property officer would be able to explain this. It may be worth discussing the matter with them, rather than the ‘administration’.

        Hope this helps.

  • Jack Barnes

    Enough is enough. Find a park close by and host the event there. Let the gender bigots come and we will be ready camera in hand. We need to send the message to the Universities that out rights will not be held for ransom. If they will not give us equal opportunity to speak then their names will go down in history right along side the feminists.

    • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

      This. Fill the streets with men, preferably where the Ryerson administration can’t help but see them!

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      I totally agree with you! This!

      I said the same up top. I did not catch this before. I wish they would stop trying to go through the legal channels. Feminists own the “civil” route just like their ideological forefathers of the Jim Crow era.

      Let’s get some “sit-ins” at feminist run events. Get video in hand of everything they do. Think about what these awesome people here did to UofT. How many of the bigots showed up? They are not brave.

      You hear me bigots? I know you are reading this. You are not brave. You are the fascists of Nazi Germany. You are ideological bent of Pol Pot. You are the epitome of double standards and lies. And the ability to hide out in the open, and use your victims in slave labor (men in prison).

      I guess there is not much left for you is there? You have been on the wrong side of history for so long, you forgot that you were wrong to begin with.

      I hope we never do the same.

    • MGTOW-man

      That is another possibility. Since going on with the scheduled event will help us in the long run, it is good that CAFE gave in this time. In the future, if CAFE isn’t/can’t sue on unconstitutionality, then take it elsewhere bigger, louder, and more in their faces. As long as permits are obtained if needed, then we/they/us save money and we still get to express our right to speak. If for some reason the public spaces deny us the right to speak, especially when they allow others to speak there, then perfect ground for lawsuits…ones that we can win too.

      Circumvent their cowardly, pathetic, natural truth-fearing asses.

      And folks, there may come a time for civil disobedience. As long as we remain peaceful, it has worked for many others. I just hope that when the time comes—and it will, and probably sooner than convenient—that we are willing to make history in the streets or wherever it is needed.

  • scatmaster

    going to give what I can but I would be very interested to know if the fire alarms are going to be covered by security. CAFE should get written documentation on what their money is going towards and what the personnel are going to specifically be doing.

  • scatmaster

    Sixty bucks just sent to CAFE through their pay page as a donor and then donated fifty to AVFM. Hope it helps.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      It does help, kind sir, thank you!

  • Astrokid

    Sent in 25 CA$

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      Many thanks to you, amigo.

  • HieronymusBraintree

    I am, to be frank, a poor and stingy man. But I sent $10 to CAFE. Fuck feminist bullies in their spectacularly unappealing assholes.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      I am sure CAFE appreciates the support. I certainly appreciate the sentiment. :)

  • The Real Peterman

    Nice university you got here. Be a shame if something happened to it…

    • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

      Something DID happen to it. It got taken over by cultists who promote the discredited theories of behaviorism and social constructionism and make every effort possible to keep education to a minimum and indoctrination to a maximum.

      Intellectual fraud is not in itself a crime, but when it is done for money it is a crime, and when it is done in order to willfully deprive individual persons of their human rights and civil liberties it is a crime.

      — Investigation continues . . .

  • Billy

    Will CAFE get the $1600 back if no interruptions occur? If CAFE provides a live link feed on their website maybe they can charge a small fee for people to watch online as well as to attend. If they only charge $10 per person it might not deter anyone from going or watching online. If they get a 100 people watched online then that’s a $1000 right there. Just an idea anyway.

    • MGTOW-man

      Nothing wrong with ideas. We are putting our heads together to make it happen. Ideas, spawn activism.

  • Peadair

    How I imagine the Ryerson administration meeting to have went down.
    “Oh the big bad mens human rights advocates are coming to Ryerson. We must protect our poor little feminists from the big bad mens.”
    “They are giving a lecture”
    “Wait…what? The MHRAs are not coming to violently oppress us? They are just going to have a lecture showing the truth about the problems facing men and boys? Are they insane? They will start a riot. The womens studies depart will loose there shit. And they have a group of brainwashed guerrillas ready to spit the dummy at a moments notice. They would disrupt a reading of the vagina monologues if Karen Straughan did it.”
    “We are so fucked. Wait, why not charge the MHRAs a security fee? It might put them off?”
    “Isn’t that victim blaming?”
    “Sshhhh. Don’t get caught saying anything like that. It may be true, but it is verbotten to utter those words about men. And any way “Men are the problem in this situation, they can talk anywhere why do the need to talk here?””
    “Exactly, in fact why can we just not ban them?”
    “Something to do with equal rights and freedom of speech.”

  • dubs

    Ryerson is using extortion to censor you.

    Don’t pay.

    Use other venues and be as active as you can, as long as the cost of speaking is $0 as it should be in any free country.

    Wait for good weather and use the street outside the university if you must.

    The answer to Ryerson should be “No, absolutely not, we will not be extorted for free speech.”

  • http://sportsdroppingsusa.blogspot.com Ty Henry

    At least The Mafia don’t pretend to be something else when they shake you down for “protection money”

  • http://strategicmisanthropy@blogspot.com S. Misanthrope

    Pay the fee. Give the talk. Record everything you can. Reach the 100 people in the room.

    Then multiply that 100 by 1,000 by telling this story of censorship to FIRE, The Daily Caller, Fox News, and anyone else willing to publicize it, regardless of political views or whatever else you might think of them. Tell it as a story about free speech, not about men’s rights. Remember that many, many organizations and movements are charged similar fees when their views are deemed unacceptable by the establishment.

    I was involved with a campus group (wholly unrelated to men’s rights) that had to pay a security fee and provide an on-site counselor and safe room in order to give a talk on the subject of free speech and censorship. It’s a culture war and the MRM is just one of many groups on the “wrong” side of it.

  • Roland3337

    CAFE has 20$ from me. Just like the last time these asshats put us through this. But we need to find some other way of doing this kind of thing.

  • Chad_Nine

    5 bucks sent. It’s not much, but it’s what I can chip in right now.

  • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

    Two questions, since I wasn’t involved in the first CAFE presentation;

    1. Is there a link/donate button here on AVfM for CAFE, or would a money order sent directly to their physical address be preferred?

    2. Are they not able to hold events off campus? Even in bad weather surely there is a church, community auditorium, VA center, or the like that could serve as the Host Area. The only club I belonged to in college was the Pagan Club, but even our 15 members were allowed to use our club fees to rent out park spaces if we wished. I can’t imagine that CAFE would be disallowed from the same.

    Will send money next paycheck. The word needs to get out, true equality needs help!

    • Turbo

      There is a donate button for CAFE on their website, here is a link.


      I think the reason to have these events on campus rather than off campus is that it strikes right at the heart of where this hateful ideology is being taught.. It challenges the lies and gives students a chance to see things from a perspective of reality, a chance to escape the indoctrination.

      • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

        Thanks for the link, Turbo. Much appreciated.

        I agree wholeheartedly that the education establishments are where these types of events *should* be held. After all, students are there to learn, right…not be stuck in an echo chamber of a single ideology. However, if constant obstacles and blatant stupidity continue to impede getting their message out there new venues should be discussed as backups. Equality can’t be stopped, no matter what. But having options certainly can’t hurt.

  • Andy Bob

    The lecture by Karen Straughan must take place. Our opponents will continue to undermine our efforts with every weapon available to them – in this case, repeating their extortion tactic, One day, they will be widely condemned for parading their tyranny and corruption so shamelessly.

    It is immensely frustrating to give in to it, but our principal goal right now is to do what it takes to establish a MHRM presence places like Ryerson – and drive home the message that we are not going anywhere.

    $100 donated.

    At least there is one bonus: the extra security will provide added protection for Karen Straughan as she enters a den of thieves and bigots who despise her. Of course, we shouldn’t have to pay for it, but at least it will be there.

    Good luck to Karen Straughan and CAFE. We support your valiant efforts.

  • http://menaregood.com Tom Golden

    This sucks. If you must pay the fee, which I think may not be the best idea then I would:

    1. Force Ryerson to admit they are extorting money. Ask them point blank if there is any alternative. If they say no, then they are extorting money.

    2. Ask them for the university policy that allows them to charge an outside group for campus security. There is likely no policy in place and they are simply making this up.

    3. Ask them for an example of this having happened in the past. Again, they will likely not be able to give you one.

    4. Examine University policies for security of events. What do the policies say about providing extra security? What has happened in the past when a famous person spoke and needed extra security? Did they charge THAT PERSON? LOL

    5. Examine their budget and see if there are mentions of funds available if extra security is needed.

    Likely these sorts of questions will expose their bigotry. Publish them at the event for all to see.

  • BenJames

    Its best it happens on campus…it MUST happen on campus. its best that it draws attention this way. Having this anywhere else would be admitting the campus bigots win, and (quite apart from the intrinsic value of the talk itself!) – we have to hope the Feminists WILL try and cause trouble. We have to hope they embarrass themselves again….wow, if it wasn’t for the Warren Farrell event/incident the MRA movement would not have had the impetus, momentum, and visual materials it has now. Without anyone getting hurt, I hope they do their worst! And every bit of trouble will draw more people to find out what Karen had to say, to be disgusted at their behaviour, to see their true colours.

    $1600 in exchange for probably $1m worth of PR across social media, internet and news services for the MHRM?…. its a bargain!

  • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

    The enforcement of orthodoxy by the cult of political correctness has now taken this form:

    “The truth is far too dangerous to be allowed to proliferate.
    ‘Therefore the cult announces that only 100 Canadians are permitted to be exposed to the taboo truth.”

    –100 is a number, it would seem, that has some magic significance to the cult of political correctness.

    Social justice collectivism is indeed a primitive religion that is wholly dependent on magical thinking in order for it to proliferate and to gain power. That is why the ethos of scapegoatism and the obsession with human sacrifice (as has been seen in the collectivist genocides of the 20th century) is so prevalent: magical thinking.

  • pinetree

    Ryerson knew about the event perhaps two months ago. However, they chose to impose the fee only a few days before the event.

  • East1956

    What strikes me most strongly here is the comparison between terrorists who by destructive bombing seek to strike fear into communities, and these feminist protesters who through destruction seek to deny others the freedom of assembly and free speech that they enjoy.
    Ryerson Uni is the victim of a form of terrorism, and has rewarded the terrorists by applying a sanction to the enemy of the terrorist.
    In any other context this would be wholly unacceptable. Can we imagine that after 9/11 the USA would pack its bags and leave the international stage, abandoning its allies and friends?
    The management of Ryerson Uni are cowardly, but their reward for their cowardice will not be peace & quiet. Foolishly they have rewarded the feminist bloc which simply progress to terrorising them even more.