Young, right-wing European youths are reportedly attending military-style training camps in France, according to Newsweek magazine, which based its report on a newly-released documentary by Britain’s ITV.
Members of the anti-immigration UK Independent Party also reportedly attended the training camps.
The youth are part of a pan-European movement called “Generation Identitaire” (Generation Identity) and are dedicated to preserving what they term the “ethno-cultural identity” of Europe. The group opposes multiculturalism, mass immigration and the “Islamization of Europe,” according to its talking points.
Although it says it’s dedicated to non-violence, reporters from ITV who infiltrated the group claim members bragged about receiving para-military training at the camps for two hours a day.
“It was really good,” one of the trainees allegedly said. “We had like a mock demonstration. It was like really realistic because they had like pepper spray, everything. It was really organized.”
Members of the group criticized the documentary, calling it “fake news” and saying that remarks from members were taken out of context.
In a video (see below) responding to the documentary, founder of the group, Martin Sellner, a 28-year-old student activist from Austria, states the group has no secret agenda.
Sellner says the press likes to paint the group as a “white supremacist organization, literally Hitler in disguise,” yet he claims that the group is “not fighting against a certain group of people but against a system. [We] are not advocating a genocidal or people-hating ideology.”
Sellner says the group is fundamentally opposed to the replacement of European culture, democracy and rule of law which it believes is happening through unchecked, mass immigration. He also claims the organization has not met with and is not connected to the alt-right in the UK or the U.S.
Supporters of Generation Identitaire rented a ship this summer to sail to international waters off the coast of Libya “to monitor humanitarian rescuers, who they say collude with people smugglers who cram migrants onto dangerous boats,” Reuters reported in July 2017.
“There is a difference between saving lives and smuggling people to Europe,” Sellner commented, while leading the protest. “What they are doing in fact is making millions of dollars for human trafficking rings.”
In an unrelated event, an estimated 60,000 nationalists marched through Warsaw over the weekend at an annual event marking the Poland’s independence gained in 1918. Demonstrators chanted “Pure Poland!” and “Refugees Out.”
A demonstrator interviewed on the state television channel TVP said he was marching to “remove Jewry from power.” For its part, TVP called the demonstration a “great march of patriots.”
The Guardian reported, “Many carried the national white-and-red flag while others held banners depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s.”