Australian government declines visa for right-wing activist Lauren Southern ahead of speaking tour

Antifascist Action Brisbane

If anyone hits the paywall, full article text is below. We hate using "border force" politics (which is why as anarchists we did not call for visas to be denied despite heavily debating this amongst ourselves). This is the LAST event Australia needs right now, with the rise of the far-right and the ever-growing hysteria about an imagined "African gang crisis". Let's hope Steven Molyneux doesn't want to appear without her. Let's hope Dave Pellowe loses tens of thousands of dollars like Dan Spiller did. We still gotta be prepared for her to get a visa and this to go ahead, but it's a glimmer of hope right now. slackbastardAnti Fascist Action SydneyMelbourne Antifascist Info

CONTROVERSIAL conservative activist Lauren Southern has had her visa declined by the Australian Government ahead of a speaking tour later this month.

The 23-year-old Canadian is scheduled to appear in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland alongside commentator Stefan Molyneux in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media.

The far-right internet personalities are well known for their outspoken views on issues such as immigration, Islam and political correctness. Ms Southern is a supporter of the anti-immigrant group Defend Europe, which attempts to block migrant ships coming from North Africa.

“Australia declines visa for Canadian @Lauren_Southern,” Sky News host Ross Cameron wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of an email to Southern from visa website

The email said Ms Southern had applied for an Australian ETA, or electronic travel authority. “The Australian High Commission have advised that you are not eligible for this service,” the website said. “You may wish to consider applying for a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) with the Australian government.”

It comes after Auckland mayor Phil Goff last week banned the pair from all council venues, saying they “shouldn’t be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions”, leaving the event organisers scrambling.

Axiomatic Media founder Luke Izaak tweeted: “Here you go Australia. Zero criminal record, zero history of incitement to violence, more defamation of her character by the hard left than I have seen on any Conservative speaker all year and still @Lauren_Southern is fighting to come visit #wakeupaustralia.”

According to the Home Affairs website, an Australian ETA is for “short-term stays for tourism or business visitor activities such as attending a conference, making business enquiries, or for contractual negotiations” and is “not a work visa”.

A Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), which costs between $140 and $1045, entitles the recipient to visit Australia “for business purposes” for up to 12 months. Axiomatic Media is charging $79 for a basic ticket and up to $749 for an “intimate dinner” with the pair.

Mr Izaak told the pair had applied for Temporary Activity Visas (Subclass 408) — which would permit them to work and normally take 10 days to process — “months ago” but had been “stonewalled and stonewalled with no response”.

“One-and-a-half weeks ago they asked for a criminal record check. Neither of them have criminal records, they got those clean, and still no response,” he said.

“Her immigration lawyer advised them to get a temporary ETA so she and Stefan can at least be getting the lay of the land, having a look at Sydney Harbour Bridge, [go to] Cairns for a crocodile safari, to immerse themselves in the country before they speak about it, and hope the government comes through with the [408 visa].”

But Mr Izaak said even the ETA was denied.

In April, controversial Muslim activist and ABC presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied faced a similar issue after she was denied entry to the US for having the wrong visa.

Ms Abdel-Magied was due to speak at a New York conference, but US Customs and Border Protection said she did not have the appropriate visa to receive payment for her speaking engagements.

Ms Southern, who previously worked for Canadian website Rebel Media, was barred from entering the UK earlier this year for earlier distributing “racist” flyers reading “Allah is a Gay God” and “Allah is trans” outside a restaurant in the English town of Luton.

Her visit has been compared to that of former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, whose tour of Australia last year drew violent left-wing protesters who attacked police and supporters of the far-right provocateur.

“They make it appear like we’re going to bring all this mayhem,” Ms Southern told Sky News in May. “I’m certain our ideas will shock people and our arguments will bring a lot of excitement to Australia, but I don’t remember discussing throwing bottles or rioting or setting anything on fire.”

Ms Southern’s visit will also feature screenings of her documentary film Farmlands, which delves into the racially charged issue of South African farm killings.

Earlier this year, Ms Southern backed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s call for fast-tracked humanitarian visas for white South African farmers. Mr Dutton sparked outrage by saying white farmers faced “horrific circumstances” and needed help from a “civilised country”.

Ms Southern and Home Affairs have been contacted for comment.


Lauren Southern told to reapply for Australian visa

CONTROVERSIAL conservative activist Lauren Southern has had her visa declined by the Australian Government ahead of a speaking tour later this month.


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