“IT’S HIGHLY RELIGIOUS DOWN THERE”
Canadian Lauren Southern visits the Sydney Islamic enclave of Lakemba, where police warn her against going anywhere near the local mosque because her presence “may cause them to be offensive”, leading to “an imminent breach of the peace”:
It was, as that Sydney police officer put it, also “highly religious down there” in Alabama.
Now, Southern obviously faces nothing like the barriers confronted more than five decades ago by James Hood and Vivian Malone, but certain elements of their circumstances are shared – among them segregation, hostility to outsiders, limits to free movement and blaming potentially violent confrontation on the mere presence of unwelcome skin colours and political opinions.
Let Lauren Southern walk wherever she wants, as any free person should. If she is attacked, arrest her attackers. And then consider just how we’ve reached a point where those arrests might be necessary.
(By the way, please show some sympathy for that cop, who was plainly seeking a short-term solution to a much larger long-term problem. He’s managing a shocking situation caused by decades-old federal and state policies. Good luck to him.)
Southern was eventually allowed to walk past the mosque following this official warning:
“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?”
Those imminent breaches. Such a worry.