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Hate in Europe: July 2018

The following is a list of activities and events linked to American white supremacist, neo-Nazi, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim groups and personalities in Europe. Organizations designated by the SPLC as hate groups are marked with an asterisk.

United Kingdom

Bannon launches a foundation: After multiple trips to Europe to meet with far-right figures, former executive chairman of Breitbart Stephen Bannon announced the creation of a foundation called “The Movement” to help far-right European politicians get into office in the European Parliamentary elections next May. His objective is to rival George Soros’s funding of liberal efforts in Europe and to form an anti-European Union bloc at the European Parliament.

According to Bannon, The Movement will help European populists get elected through methods that helped Trump win the election, such as using data and polls to target voters, as well as by facilitating campaign financing. It will also make European policy proposals and connect European politicians to sympathetic American ones. To create The Movement, Bannon appropriated the existing legal structure of a Brussels lawyer leading a small far-right party, Mischaël Modrikamen.

Many far-right politicians have expressed skepticism about the project. A member of parliament (MP) from Poland’s ruling party, the far-right Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS, Law and Justice Party) said they were approached by Bannon but refused to collaborate with him. In scathing language, the MP said they had nothing in common with the anti-EU far-right parties Bannon works with.

And a cryptocurrency project: Bannon also announced that he is working on his own cryptocurrency for  “the populist movement on a worldwide basis,” in an effort to solve the financing problems of some far-right parties.

Bannon’s blunders: But Bannon’s European forays – which included meetings with conservative politician Boris Johnson – were not without blunders.  Bannon was caught on tape insulting a radio host and clashing with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage over his defense of jailed anti-Muslim provocateur Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, known under his pen name Tommy Robinson. A recording of the encounter was released by the radio station:

“You guys hate Tommy Robinson. You hate him because he’s a working class guy. You’re one of these fucking elites that hate him. Tommy Robinson is the fucking backbone of this country. You lose guys like Tommy Robinson you're not going to have a country.”

Former Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam was then escorted out of the building after entering the studio without authorization to vent his anger over Bannon’s interview – an account he denied. Later, Kassam rallied people to harass Farage’s producer and “tell him what [they] think.” The radio show is now facing an investigation from Britain’s broadcast regulator after they received 36 complaints over the episode.

Tommy Robinson released: As for Yaxley-Lennon, whose arrest became a cause célèbre in the international far-right, he was released on bail on August 1, after appealing his 13-month jail sentence. The appellate judge found issues with the first judge’s condemnation, and decided to send the case back to another judge. The founder of the far-right English Defence League, Yaxley-Lennon was condemned for filming and harassing people outside a courthouse in Leeds, during a case for which coverage was banned. He used the case to fuel his anti-Muslim rhetoric and was eventually charged with contempt of court.

Men’s rights conference takes place: Meanwhile in London, the men’s rights activist International Conference on Men’s Issues, co-organized by male supremacist hate group A Voice For Men* (AVFM), took place the weekend of the July 21. The misogynist who heads AVFM, Paul Elam, couldn’t travel there because of health issues but spoke via video. In his speech, he was applauded for describing women as “opportunistic parasites in the lives of men.” Cassie Jaye, the feminist-turned-men’s rights activist documentary filmmaker who made the male supremacist funded documentary the Red Pill, attended the event. Among the speakers, Oliver Hoffman who founded an Austrian men’s right party, acknowledged that men’s rights activist should work with white nationalists.

The event concluded with the publishing of a non-feminist declaration, backed by AVFM and signed by men’s rights activists around the world including UK-based Infowars correspondent Paul Joseph Watson; Canadian YouTube personality Karen Straughan; and Americans such as male supremacist Paul Elam and Fox News contributor Suzanne Venker. The shrill declaration ends with a call to start “the non-feminist revolution” and is written in conspiratorial language. Its opening reads:

Feminists attack liberty, justice, equality and meritocracy. They attack men, women, and children, and relations between the sexes. All feminist narratives have been shown to be demonstrably one or more of the following – baseless conspiracy theories, fantasies, lies, delusions or myths. In many countries, virtually all institutions have been deeply corrupted by feminists, and by people in positions of power bowing to feminist influence.

Neo-Nazis go to jail: Elsewhere in the UK, two men were jailed for being members of the banned racist neo-Nazi group National Action. They were involved in a plot to murder the Labour member of Parliament Rosie Cooper. The group had praised the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

UK sees increased attacks against Muslims: Meanwhile, a report by Muslim advocacy group Tell MAMA shows that there has been a spike in hate attacks against Muslims, with 30 percent more attacks over the previous year. There has also been a 16 percent increase in online attacks against Muslims in the country.

Sweden

Richard Spencer tries to go to Sweden: After a series of humiliations on American soil, white supremacist Richard Spencer attempted to head to Sweden for the country’s politicians’ week in Almedalen, invited by the editor-in-chief of the Nordic Alt-Right website Christoffer Dulny. Dulny is himself banned from the US after attending the deadly white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last August.

It is unclear why Spencer thought he could get into the country, having been banned several times already from the Schengen area, a group of 26 countries that includes Sweden. The most recent ban dates from 2017 when Spencer tried to enter Poland and is to last five years.

Spencer was sent back to the United States during a layover in Poland. Dulny tweeted that Spencer addressed the audience in Almedalen via Skype. He has since deleted the tweet about Spencer’s appearance.

Hungary

Milo paid $25,000 for May speech: After far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos’s visit to Hungary in May, it was recently revealed that he was paid $20,000 by the Hungarian state for his one hour speech. Not including the speaker’s fee and Yiannopoulos and his crew’s still unknown flight fare, the event itself cost an additional $55,000 to Hungarian taxpayers. Despite the state funding the event, many journalists were prevented from attending and the editor-in-chief of a leftwing publication was forcefully expelled before the start of the event. A video of the event shows a security guard pushing him down the stairs.

Austria

Trial of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim activist group concludes: The 17 members of the Austrian chapter of the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim activist group Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs (IBÖ, Generation Identity Austria) were acquitted of the more serious charges of incitement to hatred and forming a criminal organization, after a trial against them for their anti-immigrant activism in the country. However, one member was fined for bodily harm and harassment and another for property damage.

Pettibone banned from Instagram: The far-right American YouTube personality Brittany Pettibone, who has been participating in and supporting many identitarian actions, including a recent mission to “stop immigrants” in the Alps, was momentarily banned from Instagram in the aftermath. Pettibone claims she was banned for posting a picture in support of the exonerated identitarians. She is the partner of Martin Sellner, the leader of IBÖ and of identitarians’ European umbrella group, Defend Europe. Her Instagram page was then reinstated after a week.

Austria’s party in power wants to watch over kosher and halal meat purchases: Still, the actions of the anti-immigrant activists pale in comparison to those of the party in power in Austria, Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ, Freedom Party of Austria), with which the activists have some ties. In the state of Lower Austria, the party proposed a law requiring Jews and Muslims to register with the government if they want to purchase kosher and halal meat. It would restrict their ability to purchase more than a certain quantity of meat and require them to prove they reside in Lower Austria to purchase it. An FPÖ spokesman claimed an earlier iteration of the law was about animal protection, not religion.

Austrian government acts against mosques and imams: The national government is also planning on shutting down seven mosques and expelling imams from the country, in what the country’s far-right vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache called “just the beginning” of a crackdown on “political Islam.” Germany is also planning to open more migrant detention centers on its border with Austria after political pressure from interior minister Horst Seehoffer and other anti-immigrant forces pushed Germany chancellor Angela Merkel to enact anti-immigrant measures.

Russia

Facebook reacts to White Rex: The Huffington Post reported that Russian neo-Nazi Denis Nikitin, the former soccer hooligan who founded White Rex – a white nationalist clothing brand that organizes MMA fights for white supremacists and neo-Nazis throughout Europe – was using Facebook for his business. Nikitin, through White Rex, has been instrumental in facilitating networking among European neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and even meeting and inspiring American groups. White Rex has been involved in training British neo-Nazis in combat camps, including members of National Action, in 2014.

After asserting White Rex did not breach Facebook’s community standards when HuffPo reported the page, Facebook took it down after the publication of HuffPo’s article.

What is WEX?: An investigation by the Russian publication RBC found a link between the Russian Orthodox millionaire funding the upcoming World Congress of Families* (WCF) congress in Moldova, Konstantin Malofeev, and a successful Russian cryptocurrency exchange platform, WEX. WEX has been suspected of running a fraudulent exit scam after selling Bitcoins for inflated prices and preventing people from cashing out their wallets due to a technical malfunction—one that still allowed users to deposit money into them. WEX emerged from the ashes of the collapsed fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange platform BTC-e, whose owner is facing extradition to the US for money laundering.

A journalist from RBC claimed to be a potential client of WEX in order to visit its facilities and discovered that the WEX headquarters shared a building with Malofeev’s company Tsargrad. Other sources also indicated that the person at the head of WEX, Dmitry Vasiliev, might have approached Malofeev for his influence over the Safe Internet League, which lobbies for more internet censorship, for help with the Bitcoin exchange operation, and gotten his support. They also indicate he might be running the platform with one of Malofeev’s former business partners, Evgeny Zhulanov.

Moldova, where Malofeev is funding the WCF’s upcoming Congress, was approached by another Russian oligarch to build Bitcoin mining farms in the separatist region of Transnistria. A former Soviet Republic, Transnistria is contested by Moldova and Russia. It has passed cryptocurrency-friendly legislation.

Upcoming events

World Congress of Families: The twelfth annual conference of the WCF will be hosted on September 13-16, 2018 by the country of Moldova. It is being sponsored by WCF, the anti-LGBT hate groups International Organization for the Family, the global petition platform affiliated to WCF Citizen Go, and Din Suflet, the charity of the wife of the pro-Russian Moldovan president. It is also financed by Russian Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev. At WCF conferences, vicious anti-LGBT rhetoric is aired and participants plan anti-LGBT legislation and campaigns. The events have also become a vector of Russian soft power in Europe.

Junk scientist to talk at anti-LGBT event: In November, the Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid will be hosting an international congress for the 50th anniversary of the student revolts of May 1968, which they see as the moment of “the so-called sexual revolution.”Anti-LGBT junk scientist Mark Regnerus and the founder of the anti-LGBT hate group the Ruth Institute*, Jennifer Roback Morse, will be speaking on a panel on the “victims of the sexual revolution.”

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