Protests outside Lauren Southern speaking gig in Melbourne

Police in Melbourne have clashed with protesters outside a venue where far-right speaker Lauren Southern was due to speak.

Protesters surrounded a bus of people attending the show at La Mirage Reception and Convention Centre, shouting "surround the Nazi bus", reports ABC News. A man on the bus mooned them back.

Protests outside Lauren Southern's speaking gig in Melbourne.
Protests outside Lauren Southern's speaking gig in Melbourne. Photo credit: AAP
Protests outside Lauren Southern's speaking gig in Melbourne.
Protests outside Lauren Southern's speaking gig in Melbourne. Photo credit: AAP

Inside the venue, protesters heckled Ms Southern, best-known for her YouTube channel where she promotes her far-right views. In 2017 she made headline when she tried to stop a boatload of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea from being rescued.

"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," group Campaign Against Racism and Fascism said in Facebook statement.

"Well done to everyone who came out to the edge of town where we forced the fascists away from the city, and who helped thoroughly ruin the day of a bunch of fascists and a Nazi bus. When the Nazis are in town, shut it down! Shut it down!"

The 23-year-old is heading to New Zealand with Stefan Molyneux, a podcaster and author who blames women for men's violent impulses and believes African-Americans and Hispanics have IQ scores much lower than other races.

Police used horses and pepper spray to control the 100-strong crowd of protesters, and are reportedly sending Ms Southern a AU$67,000 bill.

"Their actions put their lives, the lives of the public and the lives of police officers at risk," Commander Tim Hansen said, reported 9 News.

"The safety of the community is our main concern and our officers could have been used more effectively across Melbourne on a Friday night. It is disappointing that we had to use significant resources to mediate between two groups with opposing views."

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff banned Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux from speaking at any venue owned by Auckland Council. Though being granted working visas for 10 days for the speaking event on August 3, no venue has been announced.

"Immigration's decision in no way condones the views expressed by the pair, which are repugnant to this Government and run counter to the kind and tolerant values of the vast majority of New Zealanders," said Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, who said they met Immigration's character requirements.

"Neither speaker has been convicted of a crime, nor banned from the United Kingdom or Australia as has been previously reported."

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz