Five Questions About the Anti-Refugee Group ‘Defend Europe’ — Refugees Deeply
In recent years humanitarian workers carried out rescues of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, but a new group wants to put a stop to it.
A dozen mostly twentysomethings from Europe are trying to head out to sea to investigate and possibly disrupt the rescue operations, aiming to prevent more migrants from reaching Europe’s shores.
What is Defend Europe?
Defend Europe is a group of young people who belong to the Identitarian Movement, a network of far-right activists with branches in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and other European countries, as well as support from groups in North America and elsewhere. They say they want to protect Europe’s identity by stopping immigration, which reached record numbers in recent years.
A variety of right-wing figureheads, such as Austrian Martin Sellner and Italian Lorenzo Fiato, are among Defend Europe’s activists. YouTube commentators like Brittany Pettibone from the United States and Lauren Southern from Canada support the group as well. The members are reportedly in their 20s and early 30s.