Sam Lock and Adam Mccleer
22 July 2018
‘The police might as well put on masks and join in’: Canadian right-wing commentator Lauren Southern accuses the Australian police of causing as much chaos as protesters
- Far-right speaker Lauren Southern accused Australian police of inciting violence
- Southern paid $68,000 in police protection for her Melbourne speaking event
- ‘The police are quite frankly participating’ Southern said in Sky News interview
Far-right provocateur Lauren Southern has accused Australian police of inciting violence and ‘participating’ in protests during a controversial speaking event she held in Melbourne.
Ms Southern appeared on Sky News with conservative journalist Andrew Bolt, who asked the Canadian if she had even been ‘presented with a police bill for protecting you from thugs?’
‘Never in my life,’ the 23-year-old responded. ‘This really does seem like an incentive for violence. Not only do you get to beat people that you don’t like and attack them but they’re going to be oppressed economically as well.’
‘This really does seem like an incentive for violence. Not only do you get to beat people that you don’t like and attack them but they’re going to be oppressed economically as well,’ Ms Southern said (Pictured: Victoria Police controlling protesters at an event in Melbourne)
‘The police are quite frankly participating … They might as well be members of Antifa at this point, just put on the masks and join!’
Political commentator Andrew Bolt said he was ‘calling out Victoria Police and their masters in the Labor government’ for ‘cooperating with violent fascists of the left to stop conservatives or people of the right from holding meetings’ over Twitter ahead of his anticipated interview with Southern.
‘Police and the fascist left make it too frightening or too expensive for conservatives or the right to hold meetings in Melbourne,’ Bolt said.
‘Conservatives must pay a fortune or risk violence. What on earth happened to our democracy and our free speech?’
Ms Southern’s Melbourne appearance on Friday night with co-speaker Stefan Molyneux was interrupted by violent protester who threw rocks at a bus arriving with ticket holders.
A protester yelling ‘I love Muslims’ stormed the stage and was tackled by security at the event after throwing herself at the speaker in front of the auditorium.
Nita Habibi shouted ‘I love freedom of speech’ and ‘I love refugees’ as she was dragged out of the event at La Mirage Reception and Convention Centre in Melbourne’s north.
Dramatic footage showed security bundling the protester off the stage, with Miss Southern apparently unharmed.
As Habibi was dragged off stage, Miss Southern’s supporters can be seen cheering and clapping.
‘[Southern spouts an extremely Islamophobic rhetoric that is nothing short of hate speech. She is a dangerous individual whose false views on Muslims stir up polarisation and violence,’ Habibi told The Australian after the event.
Violent protests have erupted near the venue where Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux’s speaking event on Friday
Violence erupted between protesters and counter-protesters, with punches thrown and people being dragged over protective barriers.
Victoria police were on the ground in the area, including riot police and mounted police, who worked to keep the protests at bay.
The violent protesters could be heard shouting slogans, ‘unite to fight the right’ and ‘Nazi scum’.
Victoria Police said they were ‘disappointed’ after protesters clashed with riot and mounted police outside a Melbourne venue.
Violence from within the crowd of protesters is also being reported, with punches thrown and some being dragged over the protective barrier
The violent protesters could be heard shouting slogans such as ‘unite to fight the right’ and claiming anyone with a ticket to the event was ‘Nazi scum’ (Lauren Southern pictured)
Police anticipated violent protests and earlier this week let event organisers know that it would cost them $68,000 for the police presence.
The young provocateur is known for her controversial views on multiculturalism, Islam and feminism and was banned in March from entering the UK.
The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism says Southern is ‘a notorious racist and Islamophobe’.
‘She is known for her involvement in the racist attempts to obstruct NGO search-and-rescue boats trying to help shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean,’ the group alleged in a Facebook statement.
Victoria police insisted on being present for crowd control and security after another right wing activist, Milo Yiannopoulos, visited Melbourne in December 2017, prompting violent protests from the far left.
More than a dozen men were sought by police after Milo Yiannopoulos’ speaking show descended into chaos.
Left-wing protesters flocked to Stubbs Avenue, in the city’s north-west, ahead of the controversial commentator’s sold-out show on December 4.
Miss Southern (pictured) and her speaking partner Stefan Molyneux are set to speak in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane after Friday’s talk in Melbourne
Police in riot gear intervened when verbal clashes turned physical between around 500 left-wing and 50 right-wing activists.
Several protesters were seen throwing punches and rocks, while others brandished make-shift weapons including wooden clubs and sticks.
Yiannopoulos, who held his first Australian tour last month, slammed the ‘violent’ left-wing protesters for causing the trouble outside the event.
Police had anticipated violent protests and earlier this week let event organisers know that it would cost them $68,000 for the police presence
Victoria police insisted on being present for crowd control and security after another right wing activist, Milo Yiannopoulos, visited Melbourne in December 2017 (picture from Southern’s event)
WHO IS LAUREN SOUTHERN?
A Canadian gonzo journalist.
Miss Southern has created a platform on issues such as immigration, free speech and feminism.
Since breaking onto the scene Miss Southern has caused controversy with a number of stunts including crashing Antifa rallies.
Other stunts include wearing traditional Muslim head wear in some of her You Tube videos.
Miss Southern is also an outspoken critic of the far left.
She takes to her You Tube channel to speak out against left wing causes.
‘There was a lot of kerfuffle out front,’ he told Alan Jones on 2GB Radio the day after the chaotic scenes.
‘It was not as the newspapers reported ”a clash between the far left and far right” it was the left, showing up, being violent to stop freedom of speech.’
Miss Southern and her speaking partner Stefan Molyneux are set to speak in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane after Friday’s talk in Melbourne.