Sian Butcher / BuzzFeed / Via Lauren Southern / YouTube
Last month, a Canadian woman started streaming live on Periscope from a tiny boat on the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy. In a grainy, four-minute video, she tells her Twitter followers about her mission: She's joined by Italian, Austrian, and French right-wing supporters who want to disrupt a ship that rescues refugees stranded at sea.
“If the politicians won’t stop the boats, then we’ll stop the boats,” says Lauren Southern, a 22-year-old journalist turned activist, who has become popular among far-right online communities in recent months.
Southern’s livestream hit 1,000 active viewers as she and the European members of Generation Identity, a far-right youth group, approached a ship called the Aquarius, a 250-foot-long vessel operated by a charity called SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders), which has been working to save refugees and migrants who make perilous jo..