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Lauren Southern

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Lauren Southern
Lauren Southern 2 (cropped).jpg
Southern in 2016
Born (1995-06-16) 16 June 1995 (age 23)[1]
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Residence Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of the Fraser Valley
(did not graduate)
Occupation Political activist, internet personality[2]
Political party Libertarian
Website laurensouthern.net
Lauren Southern
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2016

Lauren Cherie Southern (born 16 June[3] 1995) is a Canadian far-right[a] political activist, internet personality, and journalist[4][5] associated with the alt-right.[b] In 2015, Southern ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in the Canadian federal election. She worked for The Rebel Media until March 2017. In addition, she has written for Spiked,[6] the International Business Times, and The Libertarian Republic.[7] Southern continues to work independently and publishes videos on YouTube.

In 2017, Southern supported the white identitarian group Defend Europe opposing the action of non-governmental organizations involved in search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. She was detained by the Italian Coast Guard for blocking a ship embarking on a search-and-rescue mission.[8] In March 2018, Lauren Southern was also detained while trying to enter the United Kingdom and officially banned from entering the country. A spokesperson for the British Home Office said that "her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good".[9]

Education and personal life

Southern was born in Surrey, British Columbia.[10] She studied political science at the University of the Fraser Valley but completed only two years and did not receive a degree.[11][12][13]

Political career

In 2015, Southern was a candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election representing the Libertarian Party in the district of Langley—Aldergrove.[12] She was briefly removed by the party as a candidate, but was eventually reinstated with support from Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.[14] The election was eventually won by Conservative candidate Mark Warawa. Southern finished last, having received 535 votes, or 0.9% of the total.[15]

Activism

In June 2015 while reporting on the Vancouver SlutWalk for Rebel Media, Southern's cameraman was shoved and Southern's protest sign stating "There Is No Rape Culture In The West" was torn up.[16][17]

In March 2016, a protester in Vancouver poured a container of urine over Southern's head while she was engaging with LGBTQ protesters at a rally in Vancouver, arguing that there were "only two genders".[18][19][20]

Southern was mistakenly suspended from Facebook, having criticized the site for banning several conservative commentators. She later received an email apology from Facebook saying the suspension was an "error".[21][22]

In October 2016, Southern had her gender legally changed to male as part of a video produced for Rebel Media to show the ease of Ontario's new gender ID laws.[23][24]

In 2016, Southern authored and self-published Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.[25][non-primary source needed]

In January 2017, Southern posted incorrect rumours from 4chan that the Quebec City mosque shooting had been carried out by Syrian refugees; she later deleted those tweets.[26] In March 2017, Southern announced she would be leaving Rebel Media to become an independent journalist.[27] In the same month, she gained access to White House press briefings.[28][29]

In April 2017, Southern was one of several scheduled speakers at a Patriots' Day rally in Berkeley, California.[30] The rally led to a riot between pro-Trump demonstrators and anti-Trump counter-protesters.[31]

Support for the targetting of NGO ships

In May 2017, Southern took part in an attempt organized by the identitarian group Génération identitare to block the passage of an NGO ship, the Aquarius (co-owned by SOS Mediterranée and Doctors without Borders), which was leaving Sicily to start a search-and-rescue mission for ship-wrecked migrants off the shores of Northern Africa. Claiming that the goal of the activists "was to stop an empty boat from going down to Libya and filling up with illegal migrants", Southern was briefly detained by the Italian Coast Guard. NGO ships often rescue migrants and refugees, who disembark from Libyan shores on unsafe makeshift rafts, and bring them to Sicily.[32][33] With regard to her actions, Southern stated that "if the politicians won't stop the boats, we'll stop the boats."[8]

Southern supported similar actions by identitarian group Defend Europe, which chartered a vessel in order to track and stop what it called collusion between NGOs and human traffickers. The group has been accused[by whom?] of intending to obstruct the rescue of migrants and refugees in distress at sea. In July 2017, Southern revealed that Patreon had deleted her account out of concerns about her "raising funds in order to take part in activities that are likely to cause loss of life".[34] Southern denied these allegations, stating that Defend Europe's actions were likely to save lives and that none of her funding went towards the group.[35]

United Kingdom-related events

In February 2018, Southern, along with Brittany Pettibone and Caolan Robertson, distributed flyers in the English town of Luton that said, "Allah is a Gay God".[36]

In March 2018, Southern, Pettibone, and Pettibone's boyfriend, Martin Sellner, were all denied entry to the United Kingdom.[37] Southern was also questioned under the Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.[36] Her denial of entry was on the same grounds as Pettibone and Sellner.[38] A representative from the British Home Office stated, "Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good."[9]

2018 attempted New Zealand tour

In 2018, Southern and Canadian podcaster and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux had planned to speak in Auckland's North Shore in early August. However, the visit was cancelled after the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff announced that the Auckland Council would not allow city premises to be used to "stir up ethnic or religious tensions". In response, Southern denied assertions that her views were "hate speech" and complained that New Zealand had been infected by the "bug of progessivism".[39][40]

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and National Party leader Simon Bridges said they would have supported her right to speak, while Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said she supported the ban.[41][42] Human rights lawyer Craig Tuck criticized Mayor Goff's decision as a violation of free speech, while the cancellation of Southern and Molyneux's tour was welcomed by the Auckland Peace Action activist group and the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).[39] By contrast, The Spinoff contributor Ali Shakir said that while he disagreed with many of Southern's views, he thought she and Molyneux should be welcomed to New Zealand and said that barring them damaged the country's commitment to freedom of expression and raised "serious concerns about the process." Shakir also questioned FIANZ's claim to speak for all Muslims.[43] A group called the Free Speech Coalition advocated for a judicial review of the cancellation and raised NZ$50,000 in less than 24 hours.[44] The group's supporters included former Labour Party cabinet minister Michael Bassett, former National and ACT parties leader Don Brash, Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church, Auckland University of Technology historian Paul Moon, broadcaster Lindsay Perrigo, political commentator Chris Trotter, and New Zealand Taxpayers' Union director Jordan Williams.[45]

On 20 July, Immigration New Zealand granted visas for Southern and Molyneux to visit New Zealand. While expressing disagreement with their views, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway cleared their entry on the grounds that the duo had met immigration character requirements including not having prior criminal convictions. He also added that they had not been banned from Australia and the United Kingdom as previously reported. Southern welcomed the news and tweeted that she hoped that she and Molyneux could be "unbarred" from their venue as well.[46][47]

2018 Australian tour

A planned speaking tour of Australia in July 2018 was almost cancelled after she was denied a visa.[48][49] However, the Australian government subsequently confirmed that her visa was approved and that she can enter the country.[50] At Australian airport she was wearing an "It's OK to be white" shirt.[51][52]

Views

Southern has been widely and internationally described as alt-right,[b] far right[a] and right-wing.[c] The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Southern's videos as anti-feminist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and borderline white nationalist.[53]

Southern has spoken in opposition to feminism[54] and has said that women are "not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions".[55] In 2015 she attended SlutWalk and held a sign that read, "There is no rape culture in the West."[56] She also said that it was "insane" to focus on the issue.[57]

Southern has promoted the white genocide conspiracy theory.[58] She has advocated for European countries to refuse refugees from Africa and Asia, saying that immigration would lead to white genocide.[59] In 2018 Southern produced a documentary called Farmlands about post-Apartheid farm violence in South Africa.[60] The tagline for the documentary's trailer, "Crisis. Oppression. Genocide?" reflected a broader white nationalist campaign against perceived racially motivated violence against white farmers.[61]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Sources describing her as "far-right" include:
  2. ^ a b Sources describing her as "alt-right" include:
  3. ^ Sources describing her as "right wing" include:

References

  1. ^ De Lorenzo, Giuseppe (19 May 2017). "Lauren Southern, l'attivista che combatte islam, immigrazione e Ong" [Lauren Southern, the activist who fights Islam, immigration, and NGOs]. Il Giornale (in Italian). Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Warren, Rossalyn (28 July 2017). "Europe's far-right pirates of the Mediterranean are targeting refugee rescue missions". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  3. ^ Lauren Southern [@Lauren_Southern] (16 June 2017). "It's my birthday so the only thing I want to see in my notifications today are pictures of your pets or anime versions of politicians. TY" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 27 July 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017 – via Twitter. 
  4. ^ "Explained: Alt-right, alt-light and militias in the US". Al Jazeera. 12 October 2017. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. 
  5. ^ Shaw, Adam (12 March 2018). "Right-wing journalist Lauren Southern denied entry to UK, purportedly over criticism of Islam". Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. 
  6. ^ "Lauren Southern - author archive - spiked". www.spiked-online.com. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. 
  7. ^ "Lauren Southern -- Archives". Archived from the original on 17 March 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Claxton, Matthew (17 May 2017). "Former Langley Libertarian candidate detained in Italy". The Abbotsford News. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. 
  9. ^ a b Oppenheim, Maya (13 March 2017). "Lauren Southern: Far-right Canadian activist detained in Calais and banned from entering UK". The Independent. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. Ms Southern, who supported a seaborne mission seeking to hamper the rescue of refugees, claimed British authorities had told her she was 'officially banned from UK for racism' after being detained. 
  10. ^ "Lauren Southern". Libertarian.ca. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Lauren Southern is the alt-right's not-so-secret weapon". Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Kabas, Marisa (15 June 2015). "Meet the Canadian college student who's about to be the next enemy of the feminist movement". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 28 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Claxton, Matthew. "Langley post-secondary student runs as Libertarian". Langley Advance. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Claxton, Matthew (17 May 2017). "Former Langley Libertarian candidate detained in Italy - Abbotsford News". Abbotsford News. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "Official Voting Results | British Columbia, Langley—Aldergrove | Forty-second General Election, 2015". www.elections.ca. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  16. ^ Lachenal, Jessica (9 March 2016). "Internet Jerks Pledge to Make Internet Even Worse in #TheTriggering". TheMarySue. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  17. ^ Jean-François Cloutier: Lauren Southern troll la SlutWalk Archived 1 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine. (in French). In: TVQC, 14 June 2015.
  18. ^ Raptis, Mike (7 March 2016). "Activist accused of pouring bottle of urine on Rebel reporter during 'anti-fascist' rally in Vancouver". National Post. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  19. ^ Mike Raptis: Activist pours urine In: Toronto Sun, 2016/03/07
  20. ^ Christian, Natasha (8 March 2016). "Protester pours urine on journalist for 'hateful' comments". Yahoo7. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  21. ^ Trump supporter BLOCKED by Facebook for complaining about site's censorship of right-wing activists Archived 22 May 2016 at Archive.is[better source needed]
  22. ^ Taranto, James (23 May 2016). "The Troll Booth". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  23. ^ Southern, Lauren (3 October 2016). "Lauren Southern Becomes a Man!". The Rebel Media. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  24. ^ Tamara Wernli: Total durchgeknallt Archived 25 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine. (in German). In: Basler Zeitung, 1 December 2016.
  25. ^ Southern, Lauren (21 December 2016). "Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation". CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1541136946. 
  26. ^ Hutchins, Aaron (30 January 2017). "Twitter, the mosque shooting, fake news and bias". Maclean's. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  27. ^ Lauren Southern (9 March 2017). "Going Independent". YouTube. Archived from the original on 10 March 2017. 
  28. ^ Cristina López G.: Meet Lauren Southern Archived 8 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine.. In: Media Matters for America, 14 March 2017.
  29. ^ Sam Kestenbaum: Trump's White House Archived 28 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine.. In: The Forward, 2017/03/15.
  30. ^ Robb, Amanda (26 April 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: The Canadian extremists inside the Berkeley violence". National Observer. Observer Media Group. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2018. On April 15, American activists, many of whom support closed U.S. borders, held a "Patriots Day" rally in Berkeley, California. One of the marquee speakers was Lauren Southern, a Canadian. 
  31. ^ "Clashes Break Out at Opposing Rallies in Berkeley". NBC Bay Area. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  32. ^ Matthew Claxton: Former Langley Libertarian candidate detained in Italy Archived 17 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine.. In: Abbotsford News 2017/05/17.
  33. ^ Claudio Cartaldo: Migranti, blitz contro l'Ong Archived 7 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine. (in Italian). In: il Giornale, 13 May 2017.
  34. ^ Lauren Southern (21 July 2017). "PATREON BANNED MY ACCOUNT??". YouTube. Archived from the original on 23 July 2017. 
  35. ^ Gordon, Graeme (27 July 2017). "Why Lauren Southern Got Banned From Patreon". Canadaland. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  36. ^ a b "Why 3 anti-Islam activists were refused entry to the UK". BBC News. 14 March 2018. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  37. ^ Oppenheim, Maya (18 March 2018). "Lutz Bachmann: Founder of far-right anti-Islam group Pegida barred from entry to UK and deported". Independent. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018. 
  38. ^ Hosenball, Mark (12 March 2018). "British authorities ban three foreign right-wing activists". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018. 
  39. ^ a b Hatton, Emma (6 July 2018). "Far-right pair banned from speaking at Auckland Council venues - Phil Goff". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  40. ^ "Mayor bans controversial Canadian pair from talking in Auckland Council venues". New Zealand Herald. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  41. ^ "Government divided over far right speakers". Newshub. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  42. ^ McCulloch, Craig (9 July 2018). "Winston Peters would've let far-right activists speak". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  43. ^ Shakir, Ali (13 July 2018). "To ban, or not to ban: an (agnostic) Muslim's view". Newshub. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  44. ^ Whyte, Anna (10 July 2018). "$50K raised for judicial review after controversial speakers banned from Auckland Council venues 37 min ago". 1 News. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  45. ^ Truebridge, Nick; Niall, Todd (9 July 2018). "Call for judicial review of Auckland Council agency's blocking of far-right speakers". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  46. ^ Bennett, Lucy (20 July 2018). "Alt right speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux granted entry to NZ". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  47. ^ Fonseka, Dileepa (20 July 2018). "Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have 'visas in hand' and will come to NZ, organiser says". Auckland Now. Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  48. ^ "Visa denied for Canadian who warns Australian way of life is under threat". Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  49. ^ Chung, Frank (10 July 2018). "Australian government declines visa for right-wing activist Lauren Southern ahead of speaking tour". news.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2018. 
  50. ^ https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/rightwing-activist-lauren-southerns-australian-visa-approved-after-unusually-prolonged-process/news-story/5e3611992c9edfeb2c65b9db47d901d0
  51. ^ https://www.smh.com.au/national/it-s-ok-to-be-white-far-right-youtuber-lauren-southern-lands-in-australia-20180714-p4zrgq.html
  52. ^ https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/rightwing-activist-lauren-southern-touches-down-in-brisbane-wearing-its-okay-to-be-white-tshirt/news-story/d750c1b70a5e969ad4190540909ac75d
  53. ^ Shaw, Adam (12 March 2018). "Right-wing journalist Lauren Southern denied entry to UK, purportedly over criticism of Islam". Fox News. Retrieved 9 May 2018. 
  54. ^ "'It's OK to be white': Far right speaker Lauren Southern lands in Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 July 2018. 
  55. ^ "Lauren Southern: protesters out to disrupt right wing commentator's event". The Australian. 20 July 2018. 
  56. ^ "Lauren Southern is the alt-right's not-so-secret weapon". VICE News. 10 March 2017. 
  57. ^ "Woman holds sign at feminist rally saying 'there is no rape culture in the West'". The Independent. 10 June 2015. 
  58. ^ "Anti-immigration activist denied entry to Australia because she filled out wrong visa form". The Raw Story. 9 July 2018. 
  59. ^ "Canadian far-right activist Lauren Southern denied Australian visa". International Business Times. 10 July 2018. 
  60. ^ Urban, Rebecca (July 20, 2018). "Lauren Southern: protesters out to disrupt right wing commentator's event". The Australian. 
  61. ^ Baidawi, Adam (3 April 2018). "South Africa Says Australia Retracted Claim of 'Persecuted' White Farmers". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2018. 

External links