BuUFiQUIAAAWKR7Thanks everyone who attended tonight’s University of Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Society (UTMIA) event, “Men’s Issues Go Global,” featuring Igor Serebryany, for your interest, your excellent questions, and especially your patience.

Some initial drama featured a small group interrupting the UTMIA leader event moderator Denise Fong before she could even introduce the event. Protesters screamed chants, but we immediately evacuated the room and reconvened in the hallway. The situation was quickly solved when University of Toronto security arrived on the scene to respond to protester harassment and bullying, as well as violations of the University’s Policy on the Disruption of Meetings and their policy on Freedom of Speech.

BuUMCO2CUAMfcyZAfter breaking for 10 minutes the UTMIA was able to locate a second venue – appropriate given the subject matter moving from West to East in the Bahen building at U of T! –  and the event speedily resume. I was really heartened to see that instead of abandoning an important event, everyone waited patiently and then followed us to the new venue (save the disruptors!)BuUM8zaIgAAFuBR

Igor described how his struggles began in family court when he was deprived of regular access to his child. “It removed my naivety.” Police are unable to do anything when a mother refuses to comply with court ordered access to child, he explained. Finally he started the All Russia Fathers Committee. “We broke a stereotype when we organized.” Igor was referring to the phenomenon of fathers – men – joining together in the best interest of their children. At the press conference launching the organization an angry group protested: “They changed, ‘if you’re for fathers, you’re against mothers.’ It sounds even better in Russian,” Igor joked.

BuUQRDHCYAAAm7JIgor concluded his talk telling us “I can speak about this issue 25 hours a day” and then opened to questions. Milutin led off with an intriguing question about the best country in the world for fathers rights and access to equality

Following the talk we brought members over to the site of our next event, our new home, the Canadian Centre for Men and Families, and you’re al invited. We’ll be opening to the public after labour day and with a formal kick off celebration late September!