A Houston-based men’s rights group has come under heavy criticism for attempting to host a conference on men’s issues later this month in Detroit. Conference organizers claim that they were required by Double Tree hotel, where the conference is being held, to purchase 2 million dollars in insurance and around the clock police presence. According to organizers, this is the hotel’s way to protect the hotel and its guests from alleged threats that were made against the event.
The conference is being hosted by A Voice for Men, a social activism group that claims to “promote the dissemination of information that will expose misandry and gender-centrism on all levels in our culture.” They openly advocate for men’s rights and advocate against existing bias in the family law system.
A Voice for Men officials told Breitbart Texas that after receiving threats against the hotel and its guests, Double Tree management sent them a letter requiring them to spend roughly $25,000 on extra security for the event.
“The threats have escalated to include death threats, physical violence against our staff and other guests as well as damage to the property. The callers have indicated that they will be stationed within the hotel as guests which raises our level of concern,” reads the letter. “We take these threats seriously and for the protection of our staff and guests, Under Section 8 of the Agreement we may require you to provide, at your expense and in our discussion, adequate security in light of the nature of your event.”
Detroit News also reported on this letter, but could not verify that any actual threats were made from either hotel staff or Detroit Police Department. Breitbart Texas contacted a hotel manager who said he “was not allowed to comment on that particular event.”
In addition to this, neither Detroit News nor Breitbart Texas could get verification from the Detroit PD that any threats were made.
While it is unclear whether the threats made the group are real, there is undoubtedly a lot of controversy surrounding the event. A petition created to demand that the Double Tree Hilton cancel the conference has garnered over 3,500 signatures. In the comment section of the petition, signators compared the group to the KKK, Nazis, and Terrorists. Some of the comments even hint at using force to disrupt the event.
“Doubletree, do yourself a favor and cancel the Men’s Rights Conference. If not, we will shut it down for you, with all the attendant negative publicity you will receive for sponsoring a conference for men who advocate beating, raping and murdering women,” reads a comment made by a signator.
“MRA’s (men’s rights activists) are a dangerous hate group that needs to be destroyed,” reads another.
Dean Esmay of A Voice For Men told Breitbart Texas reporters that these claims are part of a “hateful smear campaign by feminists.” Despite the allegations of violence and misogyny, Esmay claims the group is strictly non-violent.
“Non violence has been our policy from day one. We have never endorsed violence. In fact, we have even gone so far as to tell members that if they’re attacked at a protest if they do anything other than run away or fall down, we will kick them out of the group.”
As of today, over 325 supporters have donated $31,225 to help fund the conference’s $25,000 security bill.
Follow Patrick Kane on Twitter @PatVKane.