[Note added 19.3.17: This piece was posted and later taken down in December 2015, when we became concerned that Amnesty International’s reluctance to host the 2016 International Conference on Men’s Issues might disincline other venues to accept our booking. In the end we held the conference at the leading conferences and events venue in the capital, Excel London. It was a resounding success, and no demonstrators turned up.]
The deadline for pre-registering for the 2016 International Conference on Men’s Issues is 22:00 GMT on Sunday, 6 December – just four days away. You can pre-register here, to be sure of the opportunity to attend the conference (by later paying for a ticket, £225 – £265, less the pre-registration fee, before the end of December). It costs just £22.00 to pre-register, and you won’t be making a commitment to later buy a conference ticket.
If you need a compelling reason to attend the conference, this should be it. Amnesty International, the leading campaigning organization in the world for human rights, is concerned about the human rights of women and girls, but not the human rights of men and boys.
We’re still in the process of researching venues for the conference, and one venue that appeared perfect is the Human Rights Action Centre, run by Amnesty International. I sent an enquiry, asking for the booking terms, and received the following response:
Our Terms and Conditions are a part of the booking form.
Unfortunately, the Justice for Men and Boys’ message seems incompatible with our very public campaigns specifically for women’s human rights here. As you will see from our terms and conditions, we are not able to accommodate any organisation that goes against AIUK’s ethos.
As such, we will not be able to accommodate your event at the Human Rights Action Centre and wish you all the best with your venue search.
Thank you, but your rejection of J4MB as a potential client is based on a profound misunderstanding.
We are not against women’s human rights, but we are for the human rights of men and boys.
In the UK, men’s and boys’ human rights are assaulted by the actions and inactions of the state (in 20 areas at least, our manifesto is attached) while those of women and girls specifically are assaulted in NONE.
In rejecting J4MB as a client, you are saying AIUK doesn’t care about the human rights of half the population of the UK. How would that look, if the press got hold of the story? I would ask you to reconsider the matter, and I repeat my request to view the facilities on Wednesday, and if all is as I hope, to sign the booking form and pay the deposit there and then.
Might I ask, was this your personal decision, or the decision of someone higher up the organization? If the latter, could I please have his/her contact details. Thank you.
I left a message for the lady to call me, and heard nothing. I wrote again:
I should appreciate it if you have the courtesy of responding to the email I sent yesterday – the one with our election manifesto attached – and calling me. I hope you do so shortly, or one of your colleagues does.
We’ve taken legal advice on your position, and we’re informed it is clearly illegal under the Equality Act 2010. The Act requires equal treatment in access to employment as well as private and public services, regardless of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
I repeat my request for a meeting with you or colleagues tomorrow afternoon or early evening, and an inspection of your Auditorium and other facilities with a view to possibly placing a deposit for our conference in July next year. Could you please email me a proforma invoice with that in mind? We are looking for the following availability for at least the Auditorium and Conference room, and possibly one or two Action rooms.
Thursday 7 July – evening
Friday 8 July – all day
Saturday 9 July – all day
Sunday – all day
We wish only to resolve this amicably and professionally, and we hope you’re of a similar mind. Thank you.
Apologies for the delay in getting back to you but I have been (and am still) working a conference and have limited access to my inbox.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate your organisation within the Human Rights Action Centre.
I must clarify that this is not because you campaign for the rights of men but because your organisation is explicitly anti-feminist whereas Amnesty International UK is explicitly a pro-feminist organisation.
The building and all the work we do is paid for by our members and we have to be accountable to them. Our members would not approve of an anti-feminist organisation making use of our facilities for their own purposes.
We wish you all the best with your venue search and we consider this matter to be at an end.