Lauren Southern is a candidate for the Libertarian Party of Canada, and a commentator for Rebel Media, a right wing media outlet. On June 7th, 2015, Ms Southern interrupted a peaceful SlutWalk event, undermining the women present who were speaking about their own experiences of sexual assault and how the Canadian Justice System failed them. SlutWalk Vancouver is an annual march to raise awareness about sexual violence and the culture and systems that blame survivors for the violence committed against them.
Ms Southern held her microphone in a victims face while a woman was sharing her experience of sexual violence and marginalization, drawing attention to herself and away from the speaker. She screamed over the women who were speaking, essentially attempting to silence their voices.
She marched up behind the speakers that were sharing and held up a sign that said "There is no Rape Culture in The West.
While we support Ms Southern’s right to express her political views, we take issue with the methods she used that day to get her message across. She attempted to silence a group of Canadians who gathered together to share their stories, give sexual assault survivors a platform where their voices could be heard, and raise awareness about how the judicial system and the culture of victim-blaming and slut-shaming undermines survivors.
Ms Southern already has a media presence. She does not need to violate the space of sexual assault survivors, many of them minors, in order to be heard. Her actions caused many people who attended the protest to be retraumatized. This is unacceptable. She also specifically targeted a group of 12-14 year old girls who had attended the protest, asking them condescending questions and suggesting that they did not know anything about the message of the SlutWalk March. She started by presenting herself to these young women as an impartial reporter, then showed her true colours when she began harassing them. When they withdrew their consent for her to use the footage she had obtained dishonestly and unethically, she stated that she does not respect the consent of minors.
Lauren Southern and her two camera men stalked the Slut Walk and continued to harass women while they were marching.
They were also waiting for all of the participants when they got back from the march.
We take issue with Ms Southern’s role as a politician. Harassing and undermining peaceful demonstrators is not behaviour befitting a political figure. Politicians are supposed to represent the interests of the people. Her harassing behaviour at the SlutWalk demonstrated her unwillingness to hear Canadians speak out about issues that are important to them.
We, the undersigned, ask the Libertarian Party of Canada to reconsider her candidacy and remove her from her position of Regional Director for BC Libertarian Party.
*This photo is of Lauren Southern shoving her microphone in a rape victims face while she shares her story. A total invasion of body space This woman asked for her footage not to be used and the cameraman responded with "look for your faces in the media soon"