YouTuber Lauren Southern's University of Minnesota event met with 200 protesters

Lauren Southern is considered a conservative commentator by fans – and an alt-right troll by critics.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

An appearance at the University of Minnesota by YouTuber Lauren Southern – a conservative political commentator to her fans, an alt-right troll to critics – brought on a loud protest at the Twin Cities campus Wednesday night.

Southern spoke at at West Bank Auditorium in an event organized by the U's CFACT group, short for Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow.

Her presence prompted a counter demonstration by people concerned with her rhetoric (more on that below). Signs posted beforehand demanded "fascists off our campus," advertising a rally against "alt-right hate." One sign also labeled Southern a Nazi, above a poster that read "Punch a Nazi? Gopher it!"

All of which Southern seemed to take glee in, responding to the punch suggestion with a and later joking about "fat feminists" and "shrieking commies."

There's an hourlong live stream archived on Periscope, showing the crowd outside the event, kept back from the auditorium with guard rails. There's a lot of chanting, including "Any time, any place, punch a Nazi in the face" and "Cops and the Klan go hand in hand".

The livestream caught a few tense moments, including verbal arguments and some scuffling. University of Minnesota police were stationed outside the auditorium's entrance.

According to KSTP, one person was arrested, nobody was injured, and University of Minnesota police had to break up a few fights with a chemical irritant. 

OK, who is Lauren Southern?

Southern is primarily a YouTube personality

Canadian-born and now 22 years old, she started her channel in April of 2015 and now has nearly 375,000 subscribers. She frequently takes aim at feminism, SJWs, illegal immigrants – that kind of stuff.

She worked with the far-right Canadian media website Rebel Media for some of that time, though left to "go independent," she announced this past March. 

She's also the author of a book titled Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.

Some of her most high-profile incidents, as collected by conservative news watchdog site Media Matters

She was given White House press briefing room access in March of 2017

After the U of M event, she took to Twitter to downplay her influence:

Next Up

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.

Ostroushko

Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras

Costco_Wholesale_Store_(34635636926)

Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.

Related

What happened at Ben Shapiro's University of Minnesota speech?

The controversial conservative speaker spoke in St. Paul on Monday.

'Build the wall' painting at the U of M: 'Hurtful' to some, but free speech

A "Build the wall" painting has not gone over well with critics.

What Minnesota's U.S. lawmakers have said about Trump's immigration order

What Minnesota' U.S. lawmakers have said about Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel and refugees.

NDSU event with controversial Breitbart writer canceled over security concerns

The writer for "alt-right" website Breitbart was due to appear at NDSU on Dec. 16.

'Sanctuary' communities won't get DOJ money, so will MN be affected?

None of Minnesota's communities consider themselves "sanctuary" – though a few step closer to it than others.

Rep. Hortman responds to criticism, says she's done with 'the bulls---'

Rep. Melissa Hortman has been criticized for saying white male lawmakers weren't listening to their colleagues.

President Trump two days after Charlottesville violence: 'Racism is evil'

Trump was criticized for not calling out white nationalists after the Charlottesville violence.