CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A pro-rape group that had been planning a meetup just outside the Loyolya University Campus in in Rogers Park has canceled the meeting after a huge backlash.
“It's a huge victory,” said Melissa Haggarty, a Loyola student who organized a protest with the feminist group FURIE.
The men’s group, Return of Kings, organized by a man named Roosh Valizedah, planned 165 meetups in 40 countries, all planned for February 6th.
When Haggarty learned the meetings had all been canceled, she celebrated but said the protest by FURIE (Feminists Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation) was still on.
“Misogyny and rape culture are very real today, so will be using this as an opportunity to rally against those issues,” Haggarty said.
When Loyola University learned of the meetup, they alerted students. Many had already heard about the group's plans and were stunned in many ways.
“I honestly thought it was a joke. I didn't think that was a thing that existed. Obviously there are people out there who believe things like that, but I didn't realize there were organized groups,” said Molly Hernandez, a Loyola Student.
Many others agreed, including many men on campus.
“It's sad, it's disgusting, it's really something that it's embarrassing that people think this way and think they can act like this,” said fellow Loyola Student Kieran McCabe
At least two groups formed Facebook pages to plan protests. Police made it known that they planned to be nearby to ensure the men's right's to gather and to prevent any retaliation. Even though the event is now officially canceled, the whole concept of what they stand for, that rape should be legal, disgusted everyone FOX 32 talked to.
“That they're absolutely ridiculous and disgusting and that's a ridiculous thing that they stand for and we want to fight back against it,” said Loyola student Marissa Lane.
“It's absolutely a frightening thing to think that there are men in this world who think that's proper behavior,” said Loyola student Pari Cariaga.
On the Return of Kings website, organizer Valizedah said he canceled the meeting because he could “no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men” who wanted to attend.