Charlottesville — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a group founded by a self-described “pickup artist” is planning an international meet-up day February 6 in 165 cities and 43 countries—including Charlottesville’s Lee Park.
The group Return of Kings has been described as “misogynistic” and “pro rape.” It was founded by Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, 36, a Washington, D.C., native and microbiologist, according to the International Business Times. Under the name Roosh V, he’s written such guides as Bang, a “pickup textbook,” according to Amazon, and Day Bang: How to Casually Pick Up Girls during the Day in 2011.
Valizadeh sparked outrage when he wrote on his blog a year ago that rape on private property should be legalized, although he later said the post was satirical.
Return of Kings followers will meet at the statue of Robert E. Lee between 8 and 8:20pm Saturday. Asked the question, “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?” group members will answer, “Yes, it’s right here,” according to the group’s website. Some of the meetups have been moved to private locations because of threatened protests.
Charlottesville Police say they’ve been made aware of the meetup, according to spokesperson Steve Upman. “We’ll certainly take steps to ensure everyone’s safety,” he says.