Chloe Booker: "Seen at #takedownjulienblanc protest at St Kilda Pier.", via TwitterPhoto: Image from Twitter
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After an angry online backlash and protest at his Melbourne seminar Victorian police have confirmed pick-up artist and douchebag Julien Blanc snuck out of the country overnight with his tail between his legs.
Victoria's Chief Police Commissioner Ken Lay describe Blanc as "disturbing and offensive."
"Labelling women as objects and actively promoting the abuse of women degrades the dignity of our whole community."
"We want to assure everyone that we have been paying close attention to this issue and appreciate that so many community members have expressed concern," he said.
We can confirm that Julien Blanc left Australia overnight. His assistant is also due to leave shortly.— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) November 7, 2014
The Melbourne talk was originally set to take place at The Como Melbourne but was forced to move to a different venue after thousands spoke out against the misogynistic tactics used by Blanc under the hashtag, #takedownjulienblanc.
Blanc, a 25-year-old self-described "executive dating coach" was scheduled to speak at the Como Hotel on Thursday night, where he was expected to address an audience with advice on how to meet women and become "sex-worthy".
The seminar is part of a promotional tour held by Real Social Dynamics, a dating company co-founded by Blanc and his business partners Owen Cook and Nick Kho. A similar talk has already taken place in Sydney earlier this week.
Blanc is known to charge up to $3000 to teach men how to "master the game" of picking up attractive women. Many have spoken out on social media against his sexist approach to women, offended by his at times violent and abusive tactics, including one 'pick-up opener' where he chokes random female strangers before hushing them, in order to get their attention.
The social media movement followed an online petition launched by change.org member Jennifer Li, asking hotel owners to stop hosting any upcoming events held by Blanc and his associates from US-based 'dating company', Real Social Dynamics.
"Julien Blanc is a sexist and racist "pick up artist," who has made a living by teaching men how to violate women through physical and emotional abuse," wrote Li.
"Do not associate your hotel's good name with a man who chokes women around the world as part of his pick up game. Please stand with the women of Australia and women everywhere, and do not host an event where men are being taught how to violate and harass women."
Despite mounting pressure to cancel to his Melbourne talk, Blanc's team hired a boat from Melbourne River Cruises as a makeshift venue in Southbank, where around 50 ticket holders gathered to get tips from the so-called 'pick-up artist'.
The substitute seminar was held by Blanc's assitant 'Max', who claimed that he did not know the whereabouts of Blanc at the time.
Protesters gathered at St Kilda Pier before sun down, flashing banners saying "Destroy rape culture. Destroy Julien Blanc".
Seen at #takedownjulienblanc protest at St Kilda Pier. pic.twitter.com/HVbWWARNqj — Chloe Booker (@chloebooker) November 6, 2014
According to News Limited reports, as the boat attempted to leave the pier at 8pm, dozens of protesters swarmed the vessel -- some managing to climb on board and hang on to ropes to stop it from leaving, forcing attendees to abandon the seminar.
Police were called and later escorted Max from the venue as scores of protesters reportedly chanted, "sexual assault is not okay" and "walk of shame" as young men disembarked the boat.
Herald Sun journalist Tom Minear tweeted that Max said he was "sad" that his seminar on "how to be an assertive man" had been shut down.
. @RSDMaximilian said it was "sad" his seminar on "how to be a very assertive man" was shut down by protesters #takedownjulienblanc — Tom Minear (@tminear) November 6, 2014
Melbourne River Cruises has subsequetly posted a statement on its Facebook page, clarifying that it did not want to be associated with Mr Blanc or his seminars. The boat company said that the booking on Thursday night was cancelled as soon as management realised who was behind it.
"The boat did not cruise and we waited for the police to take all the people off the boat as they refused to get off the boat," the statement said.
"We were completely misinformed about the booking, saying it was a social function."
Since the start of the social media campaign, four hotels have cancelled Real Social Dynamics events in Australia and abroad.
"We are continuing to #TakeDownJulienBlanc and to #TakeDownRSD. Thank you for being a part of this and making everything that's happened possible," writes Li, on an update to the change.org campaign.
Neither Julien Blanc nor his company Real Social Dynamics have responded to the social media campaign officially.