American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor and Sam Dickson, Council of Conservative Citizens member and lawyer for the Ku Klux Klan, joined some of Europe’s most extreme right-wing fringe at the International Russian Conservative Forum in St. Petersburg last weekend.
The event, which took place at a Holiday Inn on Sunday, centered around the preservation of “national identity and culture” by embracing Christian traditions and denouncing globalism, multiculturalism and American influence. But in reality, it was further evidence of a strengthening alliance between American extremists and their European counterparts.
Sharing the dais with Taylor and Dickson were more than 30 representatives from groups including Greece’s Golden Dawn, the National Democratic Party of Germany, Italy’s Forza Nuova, the Russian Imperial Movement, as well as the former head of the British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin.
The meeting was Taylor’s first publicized transatlantic trip since the National Policy Institute’s failed Identitarian Congress in Budapest last October, which resulted in the arrest and eventual deportation of its organizer, Richard Spencer. This meeting was cut short, too, when the hotel hosting the conference was evacuated while police checked for explosives after a bomb threat, Taylor wrote in his summary of the meeting.
Taylor’s and Dickson’s appearance alongside some of Europe’s most hardline extremist groups comes after several years of effort between extremist activists in the U.S. and Europe to bridge the Atlantic and form a unified voice against what they see as an organized effort to dispossess whites of cultural power throughout the West – an idea that has swept across the radical right at home and abroad.
And the pair is not alone in their efforts to find friends in Europe.
While he did not attend the conference, Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN) in recent months has lauded several leaders of Golden Dawn and met with them privately. The group is known for its usage of Nazi symbolism and xenophobia inspired acts of violence against immigrants.
“Golden dawn has risen as a political movement of the people to fulfill the needs of the people, where the mainstream political parties have not only failed, but totally abandoned their responsibilities and duties,” Heimbach wrote in an uncommonly lauding essay posted to TYN website.
Nick Griffin, who is a frequent invitee to Taylor’s own annual American Renaissance conference, also has a long history of attempting to form an alliance between European and American far-right factions. In 2010, under his leadership, the once formidable fundraising operation, American Friends of the British National Party, was refounded. He was expelled as leader of the BNP late last year.
While Taylor and Dickson’s presence overseas isn’t unprecedented, the size of the gathering is unprecedented in recent years.
“We are all united here in our opposition to globalization and in our love of traditional societies,” Taylor wrote in his recap. “As you know, tradition is under attack. One way is to replace the people who created traditions with an entirely different people. This is happening in the modern world through immigration.”
In the evolving landscape of American extremism, Taylor’s xenophobic predictions about the consequences of shifting population demographics in the United States have become commonplace. Domestic hate groups, such as the neo-Confederate League of the South, have already folded these ideas into their own ideological foundations with talking points that include fear mongering about “the demographic displacement of ethnic southerners.”
The presence of such ideas at a pan-European gathering of far-right political ideologues is no surprise as the European nationalist groups, such as Golden Dawn and the French National Front, have become increasingly focused on combating immigration and what they view as the Islamization of the West.
“It is impossible to maintain any kind of tradition in what America is becoming. No country that is a mix of Africans, Asians, and Central Americans, and a dwindling remnant of aging Europeans can have an authentic culture and authentic traditions. My country is committing suicide,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor’s synopsis of the conference, Dickson joined him in calling for the preservation of “[the white] race and civilization,” while also praising Russian President Vladimir Putin for encouraging higher birthrates.
“We Europeans are one people,” Taylor wrote. “We have the same heritage and the same destiny. That is why your struggle is my struggle. So long as the light of the West still shines in Russia, or in Sweden, or in Italy or in Spain, it shines for all Europeans, even for us, far away in North America.”