According to the Austrian police, the leader of the Identity Movement of this country, Martin Sellner, received a donation of € 1,500 from someone whose name coincided with that of the accused Christchurch murderer.
The nature of the connection between the alleged murderer and Sellner is still being investigated after a police raid on Sellner's house in Vienna on Monday. But what is the identity movement and with whom are they connected?
Austria's Identity Movement (IBÖ) is part of a larger far-right identity movement with offices in most Western European countries, North America and New Zealand. 1
Organizations that associate with identitarianism include Génération Identitaire in France and Generazione Identitaria in Italy. The American Identity movement in the United States (recently renamed Identity Evropa and banned from Facebook on Thursday) participated in the rally in Charlottesville. Recently leaked chat logs showed that there are service members in the US military in their ranks. Identity Australia seems to be nothing more than a grouplet for the time being, and the Dominion movement in New Zealand claimed on its website that it had dissolved after the mass murder in Christchurch.
The people who act as identitarianism in public are, like Sellner, often overwhelmed millennials, and the movement is explicitly aimed at recruiting young people. Identities often attack multiculturalism and immigration as part of an intergenerational struggle; In 2012, Génération Identitaire released a notorious video directing a "declaration of war" on the "68ers" – the generation that had participated in the 1968 student uprisings.
The idea of the movement comes largely from the so-called European New Right or Nouvelle Droite (ND), a largely French movement that began in the 1960s and tried to wrap racist ideas in a way that Europeans would not associate with new ones Memories of fascism between the two world wars would worry a veiled version of the ethnonationalism of blood and soil, in which Europeans would dispose exclusively of their "homelands". They also promoted the concept of "metapolitics" and hoped to create political ideas by sowing ideas and gaining cultural dominance. They were also anti-capitalist. They have significant similarities with white nationalists in the US and elsewhere. Political scientists like Walter Laqueur described the ND as fascist.
Indentitarianism in its modern incarnation began in the early 2000s, when Génération Identitaire was founded as a youth wing by Bloc Identitaire in France. In the next decade, they developed the formula that identitarian groups still use everywhere. Islamophobic provocations – such as mosque occupations or "pig sausage and schnapps parties" in Muslim neighborhoods – mingled with glittering publicity that exploited the emerging, laissez-fair communication environment of social media identitarianism across Europe and around the world and escalated into its Tactics and PR efforts.
As a teenager Sellner was involved in the Austrian neo-Nazi groups, but has since claimed to have renounced National Socialism. In 2012, he founded the IBÖ, which spoke out against liberalism, multiculturalism and Islam, and adopted the concept of "ethnopluralism" of the bloody and indigenous ND, according to which each race should be confined to its ethnic homeland.
opposes NATO and what they consider US imperialism and advocates a syncretic "third-position" anti-capitalist economy and an alliance of European states under Russia.
Like all identitarians, Sellner claims to be non-violent, but his tactic has confrontation provocation and threat. In 2016, IBÖ members stormed a stage in an Austrian university, where a spectacle of refugee actors was shown with a banner soaked with false blood.
In 2017, Sellner raised $ 100,000 to sail a ship with migrants from Africa to the Mediterranean to Europe could be intercepted and returned. The mission, led by Sellner's fiancé Brittany Pettibone and white, nationalist YouTube star Lauren Southern, ended with a shameful failure. A year ago, the three went to the English town of Luton and berated Muslims with provocative slogans – but they were banished from the country.
And in 2018, the Austrian authorities tried to prosecute Sellner and other IBÖ activists, accusing them of hate speech and forming a criminal organization. They were not found guilty in July.
Last year, Sellner spent some time in the US, Pettibone's home country, podcasts to party-owning Washington Party with James Allsup, the party's Republican-elected party playwright in Charlottesville.
The racist fear of a "great substitute" is primarily in the focus of the alleged shooter's manifesto, but is also expressed in the identitarian movement. Christchurch could lead to a stronger test of identitarianism around the world.