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A PROTESTER screaming “I love Muslims!” rushed the stage at far-right commentator Lauren Southern’s Melbourne event and was bundled off by security. Several activists had to be removed from the room as others clashed with riot police outside, who used pepper spray on the crowd.
“I wanted to interrupt the thing. I think it’s really dangerous what’s happening. Hate speech should be interrupted.”
Right-wing activist Neil Erikson filmed protesters before being hauled away from police. He and two other men are charged with affray and riot over an incident outside an event by controversial commentator Milo Yiannopoulos last year.
Victoria Police is reportedly charging the Canadian provocateur than $67,000 for their presence at the event.
“It is disappointing that we had to use significant resources to mediate between two groups with opposing views,” said Commander Tim Hansen. “Their actions put their lives, the lives of the public and the lives of police officers at risk.”
Security around Ms Southern’s talk is reportedly costing organisers thousands with Victoria Police reportedly sending them a $68,000 bill to pay for resources to be used at her show.
An email from Victoria Police quotes the total cost as $230,000 but said police would only charge her $67,842.50, News Corp Australia reported. “As per the Victoria Police (fees and charges) Regulations 2014, Victoria Police has the right to charge any event organiser for the use of police resources,” a spokesman told AAP.
The 23-year-old Canadian was scheduled to appear in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland alongside commentator Stefan Molyneux in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media later this month. Hours before she was due to fly out, her Electronic Travel Authority was declined. Ms Southern said she applied for a work visa four months ago but “we keep waiting and waiting and waiting and they keep sending us new hurdles to jump through”. “We’ve been told [by our immigration lawyers] that it’s unprecedented,”
“New Zealand has been a nightmare,” she said. “In New Zealand it was the Islamic community that created a petition to get me banned. They don’t think free speech includes the ability to criticise Islam. I’m sorry but that’s exactly what free speech is and someone needs to really teach them what free speech means before they come and immigrate to western nations.” Ms Southern said it was “scary because the more peaceful person loses out in these kind of battles”
Because really, what have we got to show for it? Nothing but infinite license to put who and what we want in our bodies, while our freedoms to speak, to think, to dream, and to build get more limited every day. We’ve decided to fall backwards off the shoulders of giants, and that fall probably feels good, until you realize there’s going to be a “splat” at the end.
A controversial Chinese flag-raising ceremony at Vancouver City Hall is being decried by some Chinese-Canadians as tacit support for the Communist regime.