Lauren Southern Lakemba Mosque visit an exercise in gotcha journalism. Right wing activist/reporter stirs up locals and police with combative gotcha brand of reporting.
Far right Canadian activist Lauren Southern, 23 has caused disconcert during her national speaking tour after attempting to video her going through Sydney, Australia’s heavily populated Muslim community of Lakemba in which she titled ‘Thrown out of Sydney No Go Zone.’
The video installment (see below) presumably part of Southern’s well orchestrated pr media blitz starts off with the controversial right wing activist sitting in the backseat of a Sydney taxi cab en route to the ‘no go zone.’
A matter of fact, Southern begins by saying she’s heard (do you suppose….?) the suburb being referred to as a ‘very high Muslim population’ area and wanted to ‘check it out’.
Cause what better way than to install curiosity and media kudos than a known right wing agitator against Muslim immigration bringing her special brand of rhetoric talking points?
Tells Southern into a filming camera, ‘I think in Australia the no go areas wouldn’t be as bad as in Europe because they’ve got less mass immigration but I’ve heard some pretty bizarre stories about riots, attacks,’
Not as bad as Europe. Not yet Lauren. That might have much to do with Aussie’s general willingness to get on with living in a society that has learned in being accepting of some of our cultural differences. An adage that Southern presumably wants to put to the test as an investigative journalist type….
Continues Southern, ‘So I want to see what is actually going on there, is this actually a no go zone or is it integrating perfectly. The only way I get to know these things is if I go on the ground and check it out.’
Seems fair enough. A reporter. A documentary maker. A right wing activist known for her belligerent anti muslim position nonchalantly ambling down the streets of Lakemba seeing if she can sniff out the ‘intolerant locals.’ A pot calling a kettle black maybe?
Alas, it wasn’t to be as Southern finds herself being accosted by Inspector Rick Agius from NSW Police who asked her not to go to the local Mosque. But can you guess why?
Lauren Southern Lakemba visit: ‘It doesn’t look like Australia’.
Also there to film the milieu were awaiting members of Australia’s press (who one wonders were tipped off well in advance by who know’s who of Southern’s Friday afternoon saunter….)
‘It doesn’t look like Australia here,’ Southern told The Daily Telegraph. ‘People are clearly not adapting to the western culture — the signs aren’t in English.’
Really- ever been to Los Angeles or Miami, Lauren, where signs abound in Spanish?
Then again what does Australia really look like in the first place? Not anything what the Aborigines probably first imagined it before white settlers first arrived over 230 odd years ago…
After questioning Southern on her motives for being in the area Inspector Agius counters that said she’d already walked the streets with no issues, to which Southern credited her security and the police presence.
Lauren Southern Lakemba visit: ‘But all I want to do is ask questions’. But does she?
But then again, what better way to see if disconcert will percolate if a known right wing agitator and anti immigration propagandist also casually drops by the local Mosque as a kind of ‘gotcha’ journalist/instigator.
Offers Inspector Agius who knows what’s likely to happen if Souther turns up with her special brand of journalism, ‘The local community walk around here without any fear. I walk around without fear’.
Southern hardly rattled by police presence (if anything thriving off it) then asked whether as a critic of Islam could she also be safe on the streets alone.
What do you think? Maybe it depends how far your hunting stick can whack the flies around you?
Inspector Agius responds her attending the Lakemba Mosque or even passing by was cause for concern.
‘I’m asking you not to attend there. I have a fear that you may create an imminent breach of the peace. Do you understand that? Do you understand that?’ he said.
Warning: Serious dope introduced to Lakemba. Hey! I was born 50mtrs from the station. The pub was on my paper run. Love that place with its races, its Catholics, Muslims & whatever. Keep that Lauren Southern racist bigot trash outta there! #auspol pic.twitter.com/px7KhmbyHh
— chris murphy (@chrismurphys) July 27, 2018
And this is when it begins to get juicy. Can a member of the pubic ought to not be able to mix with the locals? Even rile them up with their mere presence? After all- there is something to be said for freedom of expression. And then again there is also something to be said about dumping kerosene to dry timber too….
Southern proceeds to repeatedly ask if she had the ‘legal right’ to walk down the street outside the Mosque to which Inspector Agius tried to reiterate his concern.
‘I’m asking you to have a lawful reason to attend in front of the mosque,’ he said.
Southern responds as a journalist (albeit one with a preconceived bias- so does that really make her a reporter…?) she was documenting the area including outside the Mosque.
Offers Inspector Agius well aware he too is being tested, ‘Alright, you walk past the mosque, you do not engage, you do not cause any problems. I’ve given you a warning that I fear you may cause an imminent breach of the peace,’
‘If you cause an imminent breach of the peace I may have to take lawful action. Do you understand that?’
By the close of the video it would seem Southern’s run in with police had an impact on her views of the suburb with the activist/agitator labelling Lakemba as a ‘mono-culture’. Never mind what Lakemba might label Southern?
Southern’s Friday afternoon spectacle follows her already causing a stir (naturally thanks) during her speaking tour after protesters at her Melbourne talk caused parts of the Hume Highway to be closed.
Protesters also threw rocks at a bus arriving with ticket holders.
Southern’s Sydney talk (or hate speech as some are wanton to wonder…) is scheduled to take place on Saturday before she heads to Brisbane for a Sunday talk.
Welcome to Australia, Lauren. Just remember you’ll probably find more firecrackers in the mid-east where western nations continue their assault or their behind the scenes support of despots in the region forcing displacement and a critical refugee crises- a story that Southern would probably prefer not to ‘investigate’ too close up front…
I am so sad that in a free country like Australia, you are threatened with arrest because you want to walk down a street in an area that has a temple of a ‘peaceful religion’.
— Craig Minty (@minty_c) July 27, 2018
The Alt-Right have a very particular grift. It’s cynical bullshit, and it needs to be challenged. Here you see @lauren_southern & @caolanrob having travelled to Sydney’s West to harass people outside of Lakemba Mosque over perceived ‘Sharia Law’. 1/ pic.twitter.com/bYxcQOJ1KX
— Mike Stuchbery ?? (@MikeStuchbery_) July 27, 2018
She might have been attacked but the police should have then arrests those attackers … but wait they are Muslim so it is her fault …. our country is stuffed ????
— Robert John Phelan (@PlansRjp) July 27, 2018
Still, I suppose it’s better that @lauren_southern is pulling shit like this rather than palling about with her Generation Identity mates, trying to drown migrants. Remember that?
Don’t ever let her forget it. FIN. pic.twitter.com/Jy8KcJyq3H
— Mike Stuchbery ?? (@MikeStuchbery_) July 27, 2018