After weeks of mainstream media hype, baseless accusations, obsession over her choice of apparel and fear of the scheduled ‘far-right rallies’, a steadfast group of over one hundred and fifty ordinary citizens congregated at Cazaly’s, Cairns for the first of a series of national speaking events featuring Lauren Southern.

 

Southern was joined on the speaking panel by Australian Conservatives senate candidate for Queensland, Lyle Shelton, conservative commentators Dave Pellow and Luke Izaak, senior pastor James Macpherson and Professor Peter Ridd.

 

Over 40 people attended the preceding 5:30pm Monday ‘meet and greet’, and over 150 keen conservatives were present at the main event, with most tickets being purchased at the last minute, in typical Cairns fashion.

 

Among the audience sat the notable federal MP George Christensen and Katter’s Australian Party candidate for Leichhardt, Dan McCarthy.

 

The host group, Young Conservatives North QLD, announced the venue with only hours to spare, limiting the prospects of any organised counterprotest.

 

“We weren’t too concerned of protestors at the Cairns event, but had forty police on standby in case protestors were present”, said one organiser.

 

The need for such a large force spoke volumes for the left’s obsession with violence and unwillingness to engage in debate, but the night was allowed to progress peacefully due to their absence.

 

As the media dust settled, and an unhindered night of speeches, thoughtful discussion and questioning ensued, it quickly became apparent that the mainstream media’s fallacious metanarrative of “white supremacy” was immeasurably far from the truth. Attendees from all backgrounds participated in the discussion, with freedom of speech and religion at the forefront of their concerns.

 

Following The Guardian’s grasp-at-straws inference that Southern’s views were adjacent to white nationalist and fascist movements, it was interesting to hear her voice grave concern for the future of the once-sacred right to freedom of speech.

 

The demographics of the event were also quite fascinating. While the baby-boomers came in their usual droves, an unusually strong presence of millennials was outlined by Southern, who noted that members of Generation Z are beginning to turn back to tradition, strive for a sense of identity and generally engage more in politics.

 

“The younger generation support a very different kind of nationalism to their boomer conservative counterparts”, she rightly stated.

 

Gay marriage, religious freedom, immigration, Islamic terrorism and climate change were all talking points, but it was the passionate question of one young audience member as to whether or not the ABC should be defunded which warranted the loudest cheer.

 

The event drew to a close after the open discussion with Southern’s book signings.

 

“We hoped people would take away the stories from our presenters and that there is a way to fight back against people who try to limit speech… to give hope to everyone that there is a movement and a group fighting for values such as freedom of speech”, said one Young Conservatives North QLD member.

 

“As a group, we aim to get young people involved in politics and spread conservative values such as free speech, limited government, free enterprise and personal responsibility to name a few”.

It’s fair to conclude that the event, and the guest speakers, turned out to be totally dissimilar to their mainstream media descriptions, and all received leftist threats were empty, making for an enjoyable night.

 

“These people are not extremists, they’re normal people with genuine concerns and they’re not being listened to by their politicians”, Southern said.

If you’re in North Queensland and eager to engage with other politically-minded individuals, Young Conservatives North QLD can be contacted via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YoungConservativesNQ/

 

 

Jacob Long

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