Canadian far-right activist Lauren Southern denied Australian visa

By @chelean on
lauren southern
Lauren Southern's profile image on her Twitter Twitter/Lauren_Southern

Canadian far-right political commentator Lauren Southern has been denied a visa by the Australian government. The 23-year-old controversial activist had applied for an Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) ahead of her speaking tour in the country later this month.

She was supposed to speak in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Auckland in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media. However, in a tweet posted by Sky News host Ross Cameron, it emerged that Southern has been declined a visa to set foot in the country.

“The Australian High Commission have advised that you are not eligible for this service,” the letter from Visa Bureau reads. “You may wish to consider applying for a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) with the Australian Government at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.”

An ETA is not a working visa but allows successful applicants to visit Australia for short-term businesses or for travel stays for events. Southern’s controversial views on racism, immigration and other issues have doomed her application.

“All non-citizens seeking to enter Australia must meet the character requirements set out in the Migration Act 1958 and can be refused a visa if they fail to do so. For visitors who may hold controversial views, any risk they may pose will be balanced against Australia’s well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs, amongst other relevant considerations,” a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said. “The individual has a visa application before the Department which remains under consideration.”

Southern has advocated against European countries’ acceptance of refugees from Africa and Asia, claiming that immigration would lead to white genocide. Last year, she joined a far-right anti-immigration group that chartered a ship in the Mediterranean Sea to stop boats with rescued people from landing in European countries. She and her companies were arrested for a short time for their stunt.

For her planned speaking tour in Australia, she recorded a video for Axiomatic Media’s website, in which she warned Australians that their culture was under threat by other nationalities.

“Do you want to retain your culture? Do you want to retain your borders, family, identity? Or will the boats keep coming?” she said in the video. “Will the no-go zones keep growing? And will you become another victim of multiculturalism?”

Southern said earlier this year that the UK had also banned her from entering the country after she and her allies distributed flyers claiming “Allah is a gay god” in an English town.