The Identitarian movement or Identitarianism is a European, North American, Australian and New Zealander far-right and white nationalist movement that originated in France. The identitarians began as a youth movement, with their name derived from the French Nouvelle Droite (New Right) Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity), and the anti-Zionist and National Bolshevik Unité Radicale. Although initially the youth wing of the anti-immigration and nativist Bloc Identitaire, it has taken on its own identity and is largely classified as a separate entity altogether.
The movement is also a part of the counter-jihad movement, with many adherents espousing the white genocide conspiracy theory and its variant The Great Replacement conspiracy theory. They also support the concept of a "Europe of 100 Flags" which was popularized by Yann Fouéré. The movement has also been described as a part of the global alt-right.
In Sweden, the organisation Nordiska förbundet (active from 2004 to 2010), which founded the online encyclopedia Metapedia in 2006, promoted identitarianism. It mobilised a number of "independent activist groups" similar to their French counterparts, among them Reaktion Östergötland and Identitet Väst, which carried out a number of political actions marked by a certain degree of civil disobedience.
The main identitarian youth movement is Génération Identitaire in France, a youth wing of the Bloc Identitaire party.
The origin of the Italian chapter Generazione Identitaria dates from 2012.
In Austria, Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs was founded in 2012. Austrian Identitarians have sometimes used the concept of a "War Against the '68ers" (68ers being people whose political identities are seen[by whom?] as stemming from the social changes of the 1960s, what would be called baby-boomer liberals in the US, or those sympathetic to them)
The movement also appeared in Germany and converged with preexisting circles, centered on the magazine Blue Narcissus (Blaue Narzisse) and its founder Felix Menzel, a martial artist and former German Karate Team Champion, who according to Gudrun Hentges – who worked for the official Federal Agency for Civic Education – belongs to the "elite of the movement". It became a "registered association" in 2014. Drawing upon thinkers of the Nouvelle Droite and the Conservative Revolutionary movement such as Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt or the contemporary Russian Aleksandr Dugin, it played a role in the rise of the PEGIDA marches in 2014/15.
The identitarian movement has a close linkage to members of the German New Right, e.g., to its prominent member Götz Kubitschek and his journal Sezession, for which the identitarian speaker Martin Sellner writes.
As their symbol, the European Identitarian movement and Generation Identity use a yellow lambda sign, a symbol that was painted on the shields of the Spartan army – popularized by the film 300 – supposedly to commemorate the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BCE.
Members of the identitarian movement erected a new summit cross in a "provocative" act (as the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported) on the Schafreuter, after the original one had to be removed because of damage by an unknown person.
In June 2017 the PayPal donations account of the identitarian "Defend Europe" was locked, and the identitarian account of the bank "Steiermärkische Sparkasse" was closed. Defend Europe crowdfunded more than $178,000 to charter a ship in the Mediterranean. It aimed to ferry any rescued migrants back to Africa, to observe any incursions by other NGO ships into Libyan waters, and to report them to the Libyan coastguard. In the event, the ship chartered by GI suffered an engine failure, and had to be rescued by a ship from one of the NGOs rescuing migrants.
In October 2017 key figures of the identitarian movement met in London in efforts to target the United Kingdom, and discussed the founding of a British chapter as a "bridge" to link with radical movements in the US.
On 9 March 2018, Sellner and his girlfriend Brittany Pettibone were barred from entering the UK because their presence was "not conducive to the public good".
Prior the ban, Sellner intended to deliver a speech to the Young Independence party, though they cancelled the event, citing supposed threats of violence from the far-left. Prior to being detained and deported, Sellner intended to deliver his speech at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. In June 2018 Tore Rasmussen, a Norwegian activist who had previously been denied entry to the United Kingdom, was working in the Republic of Ireland to establish a local branch of Generation Identity.
In Australia / New Zealand
Australia has a local presence of the Identitarian movement in the form of an organization known as Identity Australia which describes itself as "a youth-focused identitiarian organisation dedicated to giving European Australians a voice and restoring Australia's European character". The group has also published a manifesto detailing its beliefs. Similarly, New Zealand had hosted the Dominion Movement, which labeled itself as "a grass-roots identitarian activist organization committed to the revitalization of our country and our people: White New Zealanders". The website for the group shutdown alongside New Zealand National Front in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Australia-born Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand was a believer in The Great Replacement conspiracy theory and named his manifesto after it, as well as donating 1,500 euros to Austrian Identitarian leader Martin Sellner of Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs a year prior to the terror attacks. Following an investigation into the potential links between Tarrant and the IBÖ (the Austrian branch of Generation Identity) by then Austrian minister of the interior Herbert Kickl, it was soon discovered that there was no evidence of further contact or connections between the two parties (other than the donation) though the Austrian government is considering dissolving the group. The shooter also donated 2,200 euros to Generation Identitare the French branch of the Generation Identity which has to the government of France to consider the possibility of disbanding the group.
In North America
The now defunct neo-Nazi Traditionalist Youth Network/Traditionalist Worker Party was modeled after the European Identitarian movement, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement in the United States labels itself Identitarian, and is part of the alt-right. Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute is also a white nationalist movement, which advocates a version of identitarianism. The SPLC also reports that the Southern California-based Rise Above Movement "is inspired by identitarian movements in Europe and is trying to bring the philosophies and violent tactics to the United States."
On 20 May 2017, two non-commissioned officers with the US Marines were arrested for trespassing after displaying a banner from a building in Graham, North Carolina, during a Confederate Memorial Day event. The banner included the identitarian logo, and the phrase "he who controls the past controls the future", a reference to George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, along with the acronym YWNRU, or "you will not replace us". The Marine Corps denounced the behavior and investigated the incident. A marine spokesperson commented to local news “Of course we condemn this type of behavior ... we condemn any type of behavior that is not congruent with our values or that is illegal.” Both men plead guilty to trespassing. One received military administrative punishment. The other was discharged from the corps.
The Canadian organization IDCanada was originally formed in 2014 as Generation Identity Canada, and rebranded in 2017 after the Charlottesville riots. The organization has distributed propaganda in Hamilton, Ontario, and near McGill University in Montreal.
Connection to the alt-right
The movement has been described as being part of the global alt-right, or as the European counterpart of the American alt-right. Hope Not Hate (HNH) has described identitarianism and the alt-right as "ostensibly separate" in origin, but with "huge areas of ideological crossover". Many white nationalists and alt-right leaders have described themselves as identitarians, and according to HNH, American alt-right influence is evident in European identitarian groups and events, forming an amalgamated "International Alternative Right". Figures within the Identitarian movements and alt-right often cite Nouvelle Droite founder Alain de Benoist as an influence. De Benoist rejects any alt-right affiliation, although he has worked with Richard B. Spencer, and once spoke at Spencer's National Policy Institute. As Benoist stated, "Maybe people consider me their spiritual father, but I don’t consider them my spiritual sons".
According to Christoph Gurk of Bayerischer Rundfunk, one of the goals of identitarianism is to make racism modern and fashionable. Austrian identitarians invited radical right-wing groups from across Europe, including several neo-Nazis groups, to participate in an anti-immigration march, according to Anna Thalhammer of Die Presse. There has also been Identitarian collaboration with the white nationalist activist Tomislav Sunić. The investigation by political scientist Gudrun Hentges came to the conclusion that the identitarian movement is ideologically situated between the French National Front, the Nouvelle Droite, and neo-Nazism.
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Identitarianism is a pan-European ethno-nationalist movement
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"Organizatins that affiliate themselves with Identitarianism include Generation Identitaire in France and Generazione Identitaria in Italy. The American Identity Movement (recently renamed from Identity Evropa and banned from Facebook on Thursday) participated in the Charlottesville rally, and recently leaked chat logs show that their ranks include serving members of the US military. Identity Australia appears little more than a grouplet for now, and the Dominion Movement in New Zealand claimed on its website to have disbanded in the wake of the mass murder at Christchurch
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White nationalists charter ship to catch Muslims in the Mediterranean... Generation Identity, whose members call themselves Identitarians
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Identitarianism: A white nationalist movement with roots in Europe, popularized in the United States in the last couple years through groups like Identity Evropa fliering college campuses.
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Members of the ethno-nationalist Identitarian movement met in London over the weekend with the aim of starting a new British branch.
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Identity Australia appears little more than a grouplet for now
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The Dominion Movement is a grass-roots identitarian activist organization committed to the revitalization of our country and our people: White New Zealanders
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- Media related to Identitarism at Wikimedia Commons