Far Right rallies in support of ‘Defend Europe’

David Lawrence - 07 07 17

Defend Europe, the project of the European anti-Muslim Identitarian movement, has acquired a ship in order to blockade search-and-rescue missions for refugees attempting to cross the treacherous Mediterranean waters. This appalling operation – which could put lives at risk – has been made possible by crowdfunding to the tune of nearly €100,000.

Download our briefing on Defend Europe here

Terrified child ©Heath Klein/Flickr

The reactionary “news” outlet Breitbart has provided sympathetic coverage for Defend Europe’s dangerous mission. Breitbart London reporter Chris Tomlinson has penned multiple articles over the past year presenting positive portrayals of the Identitarians, who have a sorry track record of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant politics.

Following their first attempt to block NGO ships in May, Tomlinson described the far-right outfit as “members of the hipster-right, anti-mass migration Identititarian youth movement” who “blocked one of the ships of a pro-migrant NGO which was setting sail for Libya to pick up migrants to ferry them to Europe”.

In June Tomlinson gave a sympathetic interview to Defend Europe leader Martin Sellner, who has previously written about “our attempts to rehabilitate Nazism as a revolutionary idea, to ‘wash’ its ‘negative image'”. After providing Sellner free reign to promote his mission, Tomlinson again went on to criticise supposedly “pro-migrant” NGO rescue ships.

White Supremacists

Defend Europe’s actions have also excited open racists, and sordid extremist elements have been vocally proselytising and raising funds for the group.

David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacist veteran, has urged people to donate to Defend Europe, tweeting to his 40,000 twitter followers: “Defend Europe Identitarian SAR has a ship, now needs money to get to the Mediterranean. Donate now! #DefendEurope”.

The Alt-Right

In an article on AltRight.com, the platform run by white nationalist and alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer (who describes himself as an “identitarian”), author Charles Lyons calls Defend Europe’s initiative “heroic” and refers to NGO ships as “invasion vessels”. He goes on to state:

“This is encouraging news. Young Whites are waking up to their disenfranchisement across the White World. The future belongs to us”. 

American Renaissance, the racial nationalist, pseudo-academic organisation run by longstanding white supremacist Jared Taylor, has also advertised Defend Europe’s video in a May blogpost.

The Daily Stormer, the world’s premier Nazi website, has published multiple supportive articles filled with antisemitic dog-whistles, gutter racial epithets and even the eager anticipation of deaths. One article states:

“These (((NGO))) scum have smuggled hundreds of thousands of sub-human vermin to Europe in the last couple of years… The only thing that’ll stop the shit-skins from flooding Europe, and remove the ones already here, are more actions like what the Identitarians here have done” 

In another piece titled “Nazi Project to Sink Rapefugee Boats Crowdfunded for $100k” the author Charles Zeiger, who uses the SS Death’s Head logo as his avatar, writes:

“This is a great initiative… These parasites need to be inculcated with a deep fear of making the trip across the Mediterranean sea. Right now, the Negroes believe that Europeans will come and pick them up to bring them to our countries… Godspeed, men. Your ancestors are proud.” 

Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin wrote in yet another article that the efforts of Defend Europe would “have a massive impact” on the “media narrative”, which would be forced to acknowledge that “NGOs are engaged in a criminal human trafficking racket that is being funded by the state and private Jews”.

Taking on Defend Europe

Defend Europe’s plans to disrupt the search-and-recover activities of NGOs not only risks lives. If successful, they will also provide a major propaganda coup for the European far right, and for the politics of hate across the world.

HOPE not hate is undertaking a raft of measures to challenge the dangerous plans of Defend Europe, including commissioning legal briefings and constantly monitoring the movements of the ship.

To carry out our plan, we need to raise £10,000. Please donate now.


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate