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Australia takes advice of far-right ‘strong borders’ advocate, kicks her out

In early March, Lauren Southern, a Canadian darling of white supremacists, learned that she had been barred from the United Kingdom on account of her history of thinly veiled racism.

Now, Southern can add another country to the list of places she can no longer visit.

On Monday, Australian media reported that Southern’s application for an Australian visa had been denied. As Sky News’ Ross Cameron tweeted, the Australian Visa Bureau had declined Southern’s application for an Electronic Travel Authority.

Southern promptly took to Twitter to complain, saying she is “still attempting to fight” for entry.

Australia’s denial is the latest embarrassment for Southern. Not only was she booted from the U.K., but a few weeks ago she and Brittany Pettibone — another conspiracy theorist who once referred to herself as “one of the leading authorities on Pizzagate” — conducted an “interview” with Russian neo-fascist Alexander Dugin.

The hard-hitting questions Southern lobbed at Dugin included queries such as “What are the most important challenges facing the Millennial generation today, particularly in the Western world?” and “How would you suggest that Millennials live their life when they don’t want to be a part of liberalism?”

Southern — who couches much of her rhetoric in barely veiled bigotry, preferring to spew anti-Islam diatribes and moan about the “victim[s] of multiculturalism” — denies that she is a white supremacist. (Like many other far-right voices, she initially made a name for herself on YouTube.) However, she has made a habit of palling around with outspoken white supremacists over the past few months.

Last month, she grinned alongside James Allsup, who marched alongside white supremacist organizations in last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has also insisted that white supremacist Richard Spencer is not, in fact, a white supremacist.

Southern had planned on visiting Australia to take part in a speaking tour alongside Stefan Molyneux, another Canadian conspiracy theorist. Like Southern, Molyneux denies he’s a white supremacist. But he has, among other things, claimed that the word “‘racism’ is the new ‘n***er,’” and stated that “freedom has a eugenics component to it inevitably.” Molyneux has also ranked races in the past according to their “sweet spot of criminality.”

He has even conducted his own softball interviews with fascists, such as a 2016 interview with admitted white supremacist Jared Taylor — an interview Molyneux claimed was an “honest conversation about race.” Time Magazine, in a run-down of Molyneux’s views, also noted that the Canadian believes that “violence exists in the world because of the way women treat children.”

As GQ wrote in May, Southern and Molyneux “alternate between linking Black Lives Matters [sic] with crimes by black people unaffiliated with the movement and then hitting on the theme that white people are hated over and over.” (The speaking tour’s organizers described the two as “world leading commentators and justice activists,” and Southern claimed she was bringing “facts” to Australia.) 

Canberra isn’t the only government thwarting Southern’s plans to espouse her illiberalism for others. Last week, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced that Southern and Molyneux had been barred from speaking at any Auckland Council venues during their planned travel through New Zealand, a move that, according to News.com.AU, left Southern’s and Molyneux’s event organizers “scrambling.” The New Zealand Herald announced that the New Zealand leg of the planned tour has now been canceled outright.

The steps taken by officials in Australia and New Zealand to stop Southern’s speaking plans follow on the heels of Poland’s recent announcement that it had barred Spencer from traveling through much of the European Union, and was deporting him back to the United States. Per one of Spencer’s contacts in Sweden — where the white supremacist had been traveling to before he was detained by Polish authorities — Spencer had been “banished from Europe for several years.”

All three of them — Southern, Molyneux, and Spencer — had advocated for “strong borders.” All three, apparently, have now found governments that will listen.

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