Roosh V, a controversial blogger situated in America, known for his disgusting and derogatory views on women, was set to hold meetings all over the world for the small-minded individuals who are his followers, last Saturday at 8pm. The extensive list consisted of over 40 countries, and unfortunately for us it included the UK. Even more shockingly, one meeting point was set to be in Newcastle’s city centre, to the horror of hundreds of people in the North East. As a result of this, protest groups were set up on Facebook and plans made to oppose anyone idiotic enough to attend the event, receiving a huge amount of support from members of the public. However, ironically, in fear of his followers being subject to violence and verbal abuse, Roosh decided to cancel the worldwide meet up. Despite this, a group of 40-50 protesters congregated outside of Grey’s monument to show just how disgusted they were at anyone who was planning on attending the event.

In attendance, alongside other counter-protesters were about 15 members of the English Defence League, a far-right street protest movement which is known for its often radical views on the spread of Islam and Sharia, which has often been accused of racism. Although this group kept themselves separate from the other protesters, it seems that their attendance was not valued by everyone there. Gary Spedding, a feminist activist, commented on their arrival:

“At the start they were protesting against rape, but after about 20 or 30 minutes they started shouting about immigration. They claim to be protesting against sexism, but if you look at their social media it’s full of sexist comments. These people are not allies of women or supporters of women.”

It appears that the EDL were not involved in the counter-protest for the right reasons, with Kate Mukungu, one of the organisers for the initial counter-protest, adding:

“If any person or group wants to focus on race or religion in relation to sexual violence against women, then they need to ask themselves if they are really opposing violence against women. It happens in all races, all creeds and all religions.”

What do you think? Were members of the EDL there to support the counter-protest or simply to promote their own cause?

If you were in Newcastle at the time of this event, or involved in the counter-protest yourself, please contact us with your own thoughts and opinions. We’d love to hear what you think.