THE company behind right-wing Canadian commentator Lauren Southern’s Australian tour has refused to pay a $68,000 security bill, accusing Victoria Police of “enabling the thugs’ veto”.
Axiomatic Events was sent an invoice for police services after violent left-wing protesters targeted the Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux Live event in Melbourne on July 20, closing roads and assaulting officers.
A similar bill was sent to Penthouse magazine after violent scenes outside a Milo Yiannopoulos event in December last year. That bill has also not been paid.
In a statement on Monday, Axiomatic Events director Dave Pellowe said he was concerned paying the “crippling” bill would create a dangerous precedent. “The Andrews Government has the gall to call this ‘user pays’ policing, but the reality is that it’s victim-blaming,” Mr Pellowe said.
“Our event was a normal-sized crowd in a venue that routinely hosts such crowds. We broke no laws and went above and beyond to co-operate with police, and greatly appreciate the work they do.
“But if Police Minister Lisa Neville is looking for creative ways to fundraise for Victoria Police she can keep looking.
“The fair and just way to go about it would be to issue a $1000 fine to every thug who blocked the highway, who abused and intimidated the mums, dads and kids who came along, who damaged private property and turned Melbourne into a Berkeley war zone.
“Sending us the bill for their lawlessness appears to be simply enabling the thugs’ veto.”