After initially being denied a short-term visa, far right Canadian YouTuber Lauren Southern has landed in Australia for her national tour, wearing a shirt emblazoned with “It’s okay to be white”.
The 23-year-old said she had to “fight” for an “extremely delayed work visa” and had her application for an Australian Electronic Travel Authority denied last week.
However, she and right-wing Canadian podcaster and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux, who will be appearing at events together from next week, were granted temporary activity visas subclass 408 earlier this week.
Southern, who has spoken against immigration, feminism and Islam, was denied entry to the UK in March on the grounds that her “presence in the UK was not conducive to the public good”.
She said she was also initially denied entry to New Zealand before being told she was eligible to enter the country under the visa waiver program.
“Obtaining [an Australian] visa was, well, rather a challenging process, and it was hard at times to avoid the thought that our applications might have been delayed due to the perceived content of our speeches, rather than any objective reason,” Mr Molyneux said in a statement.
“Lauren and I are very proud of our contributions to the global conversation, and we are both immensely eager to engage with the Australian public over these coming weeks.”
The pair will appear in Melbourne on July 20, Perth on July 22, Adelaide on July 24, Sydney on July 28, Brisbane on July 29 and Auckland on August 3.
Tickets for the event are being sold for A$79 (NZ$86) but a half-an-hour “meet and greet” with Southern and Molyneux is priced at A$199, an extra 15 minutes with the pair costs A$499 and tickets to an “intimate” dinner function with the two are being sold for A$749.
“I’m happy to be white, I’m fine being white, I feel zero shame whatsoever for being white,” Ms Southern said on Sky News after arriving in Australia.
“If I were black, I could say I’m proud, if I were Asian, I could say I’m proud, if I were any other ethnicity I could say I’m proud because that’s how our culture is.
“But if I’m white and I say I’m proud, the media will go nuts.”
Southern also spoke about a stunt in Luton in which she handed out flyers that stated “Allah is a gay God” and “Allah is trans”, about a month before she was banned from the UK.
“The social experiment had to do with Islam and it had to do with the LGBT community,” Southern told Sky News.
“Neither of those things have anything to do with race, yet I was banned for racism. I don’t think the UK knows what they were talking about, clearly they don’t, and they were just making something up to get me banned from the country because clearly the government doesn’t like controversial speakers like me.
“There have been plenty of reasonable people who have questioned this multicultural policy in the UK that have just been denied entry because the government is scared of being questioned, as they should be because they’re betraying their people right now.”
Southern has previously courted controversy by holding up a sign stating “There is no rape culture in the west” at a ‘SlutWalk’ protest march in British Columbia calling for an end to rape culture.
She was suspended as a candidate of Canada’s Libertarian Party after the incident.
Before she launched her YouTube channel, which has 566,000 subscribers, Southern worked for Rebel Media, for which Mark Latham is also a commentator.
Southern received “open invitation to dinner” from One Nation leader Pauline Hanson last week.
“Sorry to hear about your trouble getting a visa,” Senator Hanson wrote on Twitter.
Sorry to hear about your trouble getting a visa @Lauren_Southern.
If you are still in Oz when Parliament sits in August you have an open invitation to dinner. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the situation in South Africa & on Islam.
Good luck with your tour -PH
— Pauline Hanson 🇦🇺 (@PaulineHansonOz)
July 10, 2018
“If you are still in Oz when Parliament sits in August you have an open invitation to dinner. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the situation in South Africa and on Islam. Good luck with your tour.”