Lauren Southern

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Lauren Southern
Lauren Southern.jpg
Southern in 2016
Born (1995-06-16) 16 June 1995 (age 24)[1]
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Residence Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of the Fraser Valley
(withdrew)
Occupation Political activist, internet personality
Political party Libertarian
Website laurensouthern.net
Lauren Southern
Personal information
Nationality Canadian
YouTube information
Years active 2015–present
Subscribers 700 thousand
Total views 50 million
Subscriber and view counts updated as of May 2019.

Lauren Cherie Southern (born 16 June[2] 1995) is a Canadian former political activist, internet celebrity, YouTuber, writer and documentary film director. 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,[3] the International Business Times, and The Libertarian Republic.[4]

In 2017, Southern supported the identitarian Defend Europe campaign against non-governmental organizations allegedly facilitating illegal immigration and human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea under the guise of search-and-rescue operations. She was detained by the Italian Coast Guard for blocking a ship embarking on such a mission.[5]

In March 2018, she was questioned under the UK Terrorism Act[6], after which she was denied entry to Britain. The notice refusing her entry cited earlier "racist material" she had distributed in Luton which suggested that Islam was compatible with homosexuality, and claimed that her "actions whilst in the United Kingdom present a threat to the fundamental interests of society and to the public policy of the United Kingdom."[7][8] She said she was "permanently banned" from the UK,[9] though it was later confirmed she was refused entry for specific purposes only, not banned.[10]

On 25 June 2018 Lauren Southern released the documentary Farmlands, which deals with the murders of white South African farmers, as well as the general condition of both farmers and homeless whites, in the context of racial tensions in the country. The whites interviewed suggest that the nation's government has no sympathy for them, and Southern interviews black politicians who advocate seizing the farmers' land without compensation.[11]

On 25 May 2019 Southern released a documentary entitled Borderless, which covers the migrant crisis in Europe.[12] Research for the film included an undercover recording of Ariel Ricker, head of the Greece-based non-governmental organization Advocates Abroad, who admits that her organization coaches migrants to falsely claim persecution in order to gain admission to Europe as refugees.[13]

On 2 June 2019 Southern announced that she would be abandoning the political arena in order to focus on her personal life and continue her education.[14][15]

Education and personal life

Southern was born in Surrey, British Columbia[16] and is of overwhelmingly western European ancestry[17]. She studied political science at the University of the Fraser Valley but completed only two years and did not receive a degree.[18][19][20] Regarding her reason for dropping out, Southern stated that it was a waste of money to pay for knowledge that she could get on her own.[18]

On 29 January 2020 Southern announced that she had gotten married and had a child.[21]

Political career

In 2015, Southern was a candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election representing the Libertarian Party in the district of Langley—Aldergrove.[19] She was briefly removed by the party as a candidate, but was eventually reinstated with support from Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.[22] The election was eventually won by Conservative candidate Mark Warawa. Southern finished last, having received 535 votes, or 0.9% of the total.[23]

YouTube

Since first becoming active on 6 April 2015, Southern has covered numerous topics in YouTube videos including feminism, mass immigration, Islam, freedom of speech, and political violence. She has appeared in numerous videos with fellow YouTuber Brittany Pettibone.[24] On 14 August 2018 she posted a video announcing that she would abandon her usual YouTube work in favor of working on documentary films, explaining that she had already expressed her views on various cultural issues and did not feel comfortable repeating herself.[25]

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.[26][27]

In March 2016, a protester in Vancouver poured an unknown liquid, over Southern's head while she was engaging with LGBTQ protesters at a rally in Vancouver, arguing for two human genders.[28][29][30]

In May 2016 Southern was 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".[31][32]

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.[33][34]

In March 2017, Southern announced she would be leaving Rebel Media to become an independent journalist.[35] In the same month, she gained access to White House press briefings.[36][37]

In April 2017, Southern was one of several scheduled speakers at a Patriots' Day rally in Berkeley, California.[38] The rally led to a riot between pro-Trump demonstrators and anti-Trump counter-protesters.[39]

Opposition to NGOs facilitating immigration from North Africa

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 by Doctors without Borders), which was leaving Sicily to pick up migrants off the shores of Libya. 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.[40][41] With regard to her actions, Southern stated that "if the politicians won't stop the boats, we'll stop the boats."[5]

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. 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".[42] 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.[43]

Southern considers herself vindicated in these activities, noting that Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini later blocked the Aquarius from docking at the country's ports and stated that "from today, Italy will also start to say no to human trafficking, no to the business of illegal migration." Further, members of parliament with the German AfD (Alternative for Germany) filed criminal charges against seven NGOs allegedly involved in illegal migration, citing Lauren Southern's reporting and the Defend Europe mission for bringing their attention to the issue.[44][45][46]

United Kingdom-related events

In February 2018, Southern, along with Brittany Pettibone and Caolan Robertson, distributed flyers in the English town of Luton describing Allah as "gay," posing as if they believed that Islam and homosexuality were compatible.[6]

In March 2018, Southern, Pettibone, and Pettibone's boyfriend, Martin Sellner, were all denied entry to the United Kingdom.[47] Southern was also questioned under the Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, including being asked what she thought of running Muslims over with cars.[6][7] The notice refusing her entry justified the decision with the allegation that she had distributed "racist material" in Luton and that her "actions whilst in the United Kingdom present a threat to the fundamental interests of society and to the public policy of the United Kingdom."[7]

She said she was "permanently banned" from the UK.[9][48] It was later confirmed she was instead refused entry for specific purposes only, and reports of her being banned were false. New Zealand's immigration minister checked this when processing her visa application because "being permanently banned from the UK or Australia would have triggered a response from us" and could have result in her New Zealand work visa being denied.[10]

2018 Australian tour

Shortly before a planned speaking tour of Australia in July 2018, Australia's Department of Home Affairs denied Lauren Southern an Electronic Travel Authority visa, saying it was "not a working visa".[49] The Australian government allowed her to enter the country once she had the correct visa.[50] Arriving at Brisbane airport, she was wearing an "It's OK to be white" shirt.[51][52]

A speaking event in Melbourne was opposed by more than 100 protestors.[53]

There were no protestors at her event in Sydney, where ticket holders were notified of the venue by receiving a text on the day.[54]

In Brisbane, Lauren Southern was opposed by around 60 protesters.[55]

2018 New Zealand tour

In August 2018, Southern's attempted speaking tour of New Zealand with Stefan Molyneux was unsuccessful. Auckland Council cancelled her booking and blocked her from using its venues to "stir up ethnic or religious tensions".[56]

The subsequent booking of a private venue was revoked by its owners, one of whom said "The minute I heard who it was I cancelled".[57] In retaliation, their venue was vandalised.[58]

The failure to find a venue was celebrated by around 1,000 protestors, who said the planned event had nothing to do with freedom of speech. The Prime Minister said Southern's views "are not those that are shared by this country".[59]

Auckland Council venue cancellation

Southern and Canadian podcaster and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux were scheduled to speak in Auckland on 3 August 2018, at an Auckland Council-owned theatre. Auckland Live, the Council agency responsible for the theatre, cancelled the venue booking on the grounds of concerns around "the health and safety of the presenters, staff and patrons". The Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff then tweeted that Council venues should not be used to "stir up ethnic or religious tensions".[60]

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.[61][62] 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).[56] 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." [63]

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.[64] 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.[65]

Visa granted

On 20 July, Immigration New Zealand granted visas for Southern and Molyneux to visit New Zealand. While describing their views as "repugnant" and "counter to the kind and tolerant values of the vast majority of New Zealanders", 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 added that they were never banned from Australia or the United Kingdom as previously reported.[66]

Seeking a private venue

On 25 July, Southern and Molyneux cancelled their trip to New Zealand. The Free Speech Coalition said time had run out to find alternative arrangements for the pair, following the Auckland Council ban.[67] On 26 July, Southern and Molyneux's promoter David Pellowe said that the duo would be speaking in Auckland after claiming that a new speaking venue had been found.[68][69]

On 2 August, Southern and Molyneux arrived in Auckland for their speaking event on the following day.[70] The speaking tour was booked at Auckland's Powerstation theatre but was cancelled shortly after the venue was revealed on social media. Owner Peter Campbell rescinded the booking, citing disruption to neighbours.[71] Co-owner Gabrielle Mullins cited "humanitarian issues",[72] adding "The minute I heard who it was I cancelled",[57] and "They can say whatever they want but personally I don't want it in my venue".[72] For refusing to host the speakers, their building was vandalised with graffiti.[58]

Response to private cancellation

In response to the cancellation, Southern blamed a "violent and scary minority willing to make threats and commit violence for the sake of shutting down free speech",[73][74] while Southern's agent Caolan Robertson cited "unprecedented" pressure on the venue from powerful elements.[58] Roughly 1000 protestors gathered in Auckland's Aotea Square that night, celebrating the cancellation of the event.[59] Tāmaki Anti Fascist Action spokesperson Sina Brown-Davis said her group feared "dehumanising depictions of indigenous people" in New Zealand.[75]

Leaving politics

On 2 June 2019 Southern announced that she would be abandoning the political arena in order to focus on her personal life and continue her education, citing the "soul-sapping" and addictive nature of politics and social media.[14][15]

Views

Foreign Aid

Southern has criticized the current foreign aid policies of Western nations, arguing that it is based on the "bizarre belief that it is somehow more moral...to help someone outside your own community... It's like a bragging rights thing -- "I helped the Syrian refugees." Why didn't you help the man that's homeless right on your doorstep?" [76] She also argues that foreign aid ultimately harms the recipients by undercutting local industries.

Gender

Southern said transgender people have a "genuine delusion" adding "It’s body dysmorphia and that is a mental illness".[77]

Southern has spoken in opposition to feminism[78] and has stated that biological differences between men and women mean that fewer women are suited for certain positions such as CEO. In 2015 she attended SlutWalk and held a sign that read, "There is no rape culture in the West."[79] She also said that it was "insane" to focus on the issue.[80]

Immigration and Multiculturalism

Southern is against multiculturalism.[81] She has claimed that "multiculturalism will inevitably fail unless 50 per cent of the population believes in Western culture".[82] New Matilda reported that the core message of her 2018 speaking tour of Australia was that "multiculturalism doesn't work".[83] On the tour, she criticized an "Asian only" room-share advert that she had photographed and published as evidence of the "extremely tribalistic" nature of immigrants,[84] arguing that multiculturalism produces segregation.[85] She has also argued against the proposition that nations should not enforce borders.[86]

She does not advocate for zero immigration, but for the right of all people "to have sovereign nations without mass immigration or invasion destroying their way of life."[87]

Race

Southern has rejected the view that whites are interested in oppressing blacks, arguing that it is whites and Asians who are discriminated against via affirmative action.[88] Southern has not taken a definite position on the relationship between race, culture and IQ, saying only that the issue should be open for investigation.[89]

Publications

Lauren Southern wrote Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation,[90] which she self-published in 2016 through Amazon's CreateSpace.[91] In January 2017, Barbarians was the number one bestselling book on the Canadian Amazon store.[92]

Documentaries

On 25 June 2018 Lauren Southern released the documentary Farmlands to YouTube, where it has been viewed over 2 million times. The film deals with the murders of white South African farmers, as well as the general condition of both farmers and homeless whites, in the context of racial tensions in the country. The whites interviewed suggest that the nation's government has no sympathy for them, and Southern interviews black politicians who advocate seizing the farmers' land without compensation.[11] Caolan Robertson produced the film, while Southern and George Llewelyn-John wrote the script.

On 24 May 2019 Southern released a documentary entitled Borderless, which discussed the migrant crisis in Europe and was directed by Caolan Robertson and George Llewelyn-John.[12] Research for the film included an undercover recording of Ariel Ricker, head of the Greece-based non-governmental organization Advocates Abroad, who admits that her organization coaches migrants to falsely claim persecution in order to gain admission to Europe as refugees. The organization operates in 17 countries and has assisted 15,000 migrants in 2017 alone.[13]

Work on the film also included interviews with both migrants and human traffickers, who Southern argues give migrants false hope of an easy life in Europe.[93] Southern interviewed one smuggler in Morocco who says he charges between €2,000 and €4,000 per person, and she notes that the migrants are neither refugees nor destitute, and many owned houses before selling them to come to Europe. Based on her research she concludes that the ongoing migrant influx into Europe from North Africa is "almost entirely a business" rather than a genuine humanitarian crisis, and that it is directed by criminal organizations. She also found evidence that many in the Moroccan Coast Guard are accepting bribes to look the other way regarding these activities.[94][95][96]

Southern reported difficulties in uploading the video to YouTube, followed by the deletion of the video less than 24 hours after it was first published.[97][98][99] Both Southern and producer Caolan Robertson described this as censorship, and although a representative from YouTube tweeted "that definitely shouldn't be happening," no explanation from YouTube has been reported.[100][101]

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2015: Langley—Aldergrove
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Mark Warawa 27,333 45.6 -20.22
Liberal Leon Jensen 21,894 36.6 +27.62
New Democratic Margot Sangster 7,490 12.5 -6.85
Green Simmi Kaur Dhillon 2644 4.4 -0.86
Libertarian Lauren Southern 535 0.9 +0.41
Total valid votes/Expense limit 59,896 100.0     $216,042.49
Total rejected ballots 204
Turnout 60,100
Eligible voters 80,360
Conservative hold Swing -23.92
Source: Elections Canada[102][103]

References

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