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Anita Sarkeesian Cancels Speech After Threat Of "Massacre-Style Attack"

The creator of popular video blog Feminist Frequency canceled an appearance at a Utah university after receiving a threat of a mass shooting.

Posted on October 15, 2014, at 1:20 a.m. ET

In the studio today shooting part 2 of the Women as Background Decoration trope.

Feminist Frequency@femfreqFollow

In the studio today shooting part 2 of the Women as Background Decoration trope.

12:34 PM - 06 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Anita Sarkeesian, creator of the popular video blog Feminist Frequency and the video series Tropes vs. Women, received an email Tuesday threatening a mass shooting at her speaking engagement at Utah State University.

Despite the threat, the event was set to go ahead as planned Wednesday with heightened security. But after Sarkeesian was informed that it was illegal to restrict firearms due to the Utah's open-carry laws, she decided to cancel the speech.

Women as Background Decoration Part 2 is in post production. We’re editing this one with Premiere Pro CC!

Feminist Frequency@femfreqFollow

Women as Background Decoration Part 2 is in post production. We’re editing this one with Premiere Pro CC!

9:25 AM - 20 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A 2004 Utah law prohibits universities from policies that "in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use" of firearms.

"Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue," according to a statement released Tuesday night by USU. "Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue."

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Anita Sarkeesian has canceled her speech scheduled for tomorrow at USU. University classes and business will continue as scheduled.

USUAggies@USUAggiesFollow

Anita Sarkeesian has canceled her speech scheduled for tomorrow at USU. University classes and business will continue as scheduled.

2:39 PM - 14 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Forced to cancel my talk at USU after receiving death threats because police wouldn't take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event.

Feminist Frequency@femfreqFollow

Forced to cancel my talk at USU after receiving death threats because police wouldn't take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event.

3:58 PM - 14 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Requested pat downs or metal detectors after mass shooting threat but because of Utah's open carry laws police wouldn’t do firearm searches.

Feminist Frequency@femfreqFollow

Requested pat downs or metal detectors after mass shooting threat but because of Utah's open carry laws police wouldn’t do firearm searches.

4:12 PM - 14 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The threat reportedly was made Tuesday morning by a person claiming to be a student and promising "the deadliest school shooting in American history."

The email said, "[F]eminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they've wronged."

If the speech wasn't canceled, a "Montreal Massacre-style attack" would be carried out against those in attendance, the threat said, a reference to the December 1989 attack that resulted in the deaths of 14 women before a male suspect turned the gun on himself.

"One way or another, I'm going to make sure they die," the email ended.

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Over the past few years, Sarkeesian has received numerous threats over her critiques of misogyny in gaming culture.

The FBI is currently investigating death threats made against Sarkeesian in March at the Game Developers Choice Awards in San Francisco. She received an Ambassador's Award at the event, which honors people who "have helped the game industry advance to a better place."

Multiple specific threats made stating intent to kill me & feminists at USU. For the record one threat did claim affiliation with #gamergate

Feminist Frequency@femfreqFollow

Multiple specific threats made stating intent to kill me & feminists at USU. For the record one threat did claim affiliation with #gamergate

4:51 PM - 14 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Many of the attacks in gaming culture against Sarkeesian and other women have come from Gamergate, a loose group of people claiming to fight for ethics in gaming journalism and protect gamers' identities, but in actuality are closer to trolls.

In a recent attack, members of the group sent a series of violent rape and death threats on Saturday to game developer Brianna Wu and her husband, apparently in response to her tweets about Gamergate. The couple eventually fled their home in order to protect their safety.

I’m safe. I will continue my work. I will continue speaking out. The whole game industry must stand up against the harassment of women.

Feminist Frequency@femfreqFollow

I’m safe. I will continue my work. I will continue speaking out. The whole game industry must stand up against the harassment of women.

4:54 PM - 14 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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