Lauren Cherie Southern

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Lauren Southern, December 2016.

Lauren Cherie Southern (born 16 June 1995) is a Canadian YouTuber, political activist and commentator. In 2015, Southern ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in the Canadian federal election. Southern worked for Rebel Media until March 2017, when she began to work independently.[1]

In May 2017, Southern supported Defend Europe in their efforts to obstruct search-and-rescue operations of refugees from North Africa in the Mediterranean Sea. Southern was briefly detained by the Italian Coast Guard for blocking a ship embarking on a search-and-rescue mission. Consequently, crowdfunding website Patreon removed her from the platform, accusing her of engaging in activity "likely to cause loss of life". She was also demonetized by YouTube and banned from GoFundMe.[2]

Some academics and journalists have described Southern as a white nationalist for her promotion of the Great Replacement and white genocide conspiracy theories, though she has denied being a white nationalist. Southern promoted the Great Replacement conspiracy theory via her YouTube video of the same name, released in July 2017; the video was reported to have helped to promote the white nationalist viewpoint, having garnered over 600,000 views by March 2019. She has been described as an advocate of the white genocide conspiracy theory for her documentary Farmlands (2018), in which she suggested the imminence of a race war in South Africa in response to South African farm attacks.[3]

In July 2018, she visited Australia for a speaking tour with Stefan Molyneux; that August, the pair were banned from speaking in New Zealand. Southern announced her retirement from political activism on 2 June 2019, but returned to YouTube on 19 June 2020. As of 2021, she is a contributor for Sky News Australia. She has rejected the "far-right" label and said she is not a racist, preferring to be described as a conservative. In 2019, when making such denials to a journalist from The Times of London, Southern ended their "conversation by predicting a race war."[4]

On 2 June 2019, Southern announced her retirement from political activism on her website. She stated that her reasons for leaving were that she needed to move on and find fulfillment in a more private capacity.[5]

On 19 June 2020, Southern announced in a YouTube video her return and new plans, expressing some remorse for her previous hardline stances. Daniel Lombroso, in his article for The Atlantic, was skeptical of her change, stating: "She kept telling me she had grown more 'compassionate,' but whenever I asked her pointedly if she regretted her past work, I got obfuscation and tactical apologies."[6]

In August 2021 Cousens joined Daisy Cousens and Sydney Watson in castigating the manosphere on Twitter.[7][8] This was widely understood by many MRAs to include men's rights.[9][10]

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As of 2023, Southern has moved back to Canada, with her child after publicly revealing she had been divorced by her husband. Her ex-husband is part Asian and is credited with introducing her to his Catholic faith.[11]