'True Blue Crew' out in force for reality TV troll
PROTESTORS from white supremacy group "True Blue Crew" clashed with others draped in the Aboriginal flag at internet troll Lauren Southern's Australia visit.
The rival demonstrators were kept apart by police at Perth Convention Centre as one anti-fascist screamed in the face of a supporter of the far-right Canadian through a megaphone.
Activists spread the word about the protest against the alt-right YouTube star through social media, encouraging people to "go and yell" at "rodents" Southern and fellow speaker Stefan Molyneux on their "hate speech tour" of Australia.
It comes after hundreds protested against Southern in Melbourne on Friday, with several protesters infiltrating the event and one rushing on stage to "attack" the speaker, screaming, "I love Muslims."
Victoria Police said they had spent $68,000 on security and were "disappointed" the provocative event was taking officers away from their usual duties.
Southern's teachers could've seen this coming.
The outspoken right-wing lightning rod for controversy was talking back as a young girl at school in British Columbia.
She'd come home from school and tell her dad she was reprimanded once again, but he wasn't upset. In fact, he encouraged her further.
He told her to challenge ideas and she took his advice and ran with it. It's part of the reason she is who she is today and almost certainly the reason she's followed without question around the world.
In a conversation with news.com.au before her Australian trip, the 23-year-old said school was a problem for her.
"I got kicked out of class a lot. Dad always told me to stand up for what I believe in," she said. Even if what she believes in isn't always popular.
That might be an understatement after the first leg of her speaking tour was met by hundreds of angry protesters who clashed with riot police.
On Sunday night, she was at it again in front of supporters in Perth. Participants at her shows paid between $79 and $740 to attend - the latter cost includes an "intimate dinner".
She said she expected clashes, but didn't believe her supporters were responsible.
"The left showed when Milo (Yiannopoulos) was in Australia that they're the ones who are sparking the fights. It wasn't the right."
But she does not deny that her opinions are divisive. Among topics she discusses at her shows are immigration and sexuality. She believes Australia should close its borders and that there "are only two sexes - male and female".
In a video posted to YouTube promoting her visit, Southern said Australians are "at a crossroads".
"Do you want to retain your culture, do you want to retain your borders, family, identity," she said.
"Or will the boats keep coming, will the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism."
She warned she would cause "chaos" when in Australia and she has lived up to her promise.
"Stefan and I feel like we are going to be entering an environment where we can have some influence and sway on the discourse going on in Australia," she told news.com.au.
On Friday night, Nita Habibi rushed the stage at Ms Southern's Melbourne show. She told The Australian "I love free speech" and "I wanted to interrupt the thing. I think it's really dangerous what's happening. Hate speech should be interrupted."
Ms Habibi was joined by hundreds of protesters who say the Canadian is racist, Islamophobic and homophobic.
The demonstrators chanted "when the fascists are in town, shut it down, shut it down" as people were directed on to buses at Broadmeadows train station, where ticketholders had been told to gather before being transported to a secret venue.
The venue was later revealed to be at Somerton, in Melbourne's north.
At one point, protesters encircled a bus, slapping the vehicle and shouting, "Surround the Nazi bus".
On Sunday, WA Police issued a warning to those planning to show up at Ms Southern's show at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Fairfax reports the United Against Bigotry and Racism party will make its presence felt.
"Australia is seen as fertile ground for growing far-right movements," the group's spokesman Nick Brown said.
"When people like Southern and Molyneux see our refugee policy and politicians like Hanson in our government, they think they will be welcome here.
"We want to demonstrate that these hateful ideas are never welcome."