This Sunday a top European far-right activist is hoping to give a speech from noon at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, London.
Anti-fascists will be protesting against Martin Sellner, with London Anti-fascists and Unite Against Fascism both calling for supporters to gather at Speakers' Corner from 11:30am on Sunday, the same time far-right protests will start.
Sellner is a former neo-Nazi who is now a leading figure in the Generation Identity (GI) network. He was the public face of last summer's 'Defend Europe' stunt which was intended to stop NGOs from rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean. He was due to speak at the conference of UKIP's youth wing in Sheffield last summer but the conference was cancelled after anti-fascists put pressure on venues, warning them that Sellner was booked to speak.
GI was originally founded as the youth wing of Bloc Identitaire (BI), a French far-right organisation which was setup by former members of Unité Radicale (UR). UR was banned after one of them tried to assassinate the French President. GI wants Europe to be white-only and campaign for non-white Europeans to be "remigrated". The organisation has adopted anti-Muslim and anti-migrant campaigns as a way of pushing their racist message.
GI has groups in France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium as well as the UK and Ireland. Anti-fascists across Europe have been combating GI for years. Last year Sellner was attacked by anti-fascists at a subway station in Vienna, anti-fascists in Paris smashed up a GI office while their activists cowered inside and German anti-fascists attacked a GI building, among countless other incidents. In Vienna marches by GI attract hundred of supporters.
Sellner visited the UK last October where he spoke at the extreme-right Traditional Britain Group (TBG) annual conference. TBG are heavily involved with the international alt-right and other speakers at their events include Richard Spencer, Jacob Rees-Mogg and UKIP's interim leader. While he was in the UK on that visit he helped launch the British and Irish branches for the Europe-wide Generation Identity network. A lot of this was captured by ITV's Exposure documentary, who have footage of him using the term "P*ki".
According to a researcher who infilitrated GI's closed strategy session which was filmed, Sellner talked about how there was a "Jewish Question" in the 1920s, but today Europe faces a "Muslim Question". GI deny being a neo-Nazi group and try to avoid openly campaigning against Jews for tactical reasons.
While in the UK Sellner met up with leading British far-right anti-Muslim hate preacher Tommy Robinson, who interviewed Sellner for the alt-right YouTube channel he was working for at the time. The pair have stayed in touch and collaborated since, with Robinson making a video about GI front #120db.
A number of far-right groups are also calling for supporters to converge on Speakers' Corner from 11:30am - to listen to Sellner's speech and defy the anti-fascist protests. A Facebook page called Pro Great Britain, which is regularly shared by the Football Lads Alliance (FLA), has set up an event encouraging supporters to protest, which has been shared by the FLA.
Members of UKIP's youth wing, Young Independence (YI), have indicated on Facebook that they'll be on the far-right protests. YI had originally intended to host Sellner in Milton Keynes on Saturday. With UKIP on the ropes it's likely a number of UKIP youth activists will end up shifting their loyalties to GI. Some of the alt-right students linked to attacks on anti-fascists protesting against Sargon of Akkad on Monday appear to be planning on being in Speakers' Corner to listen to Sellner.
Generation Identity's UK branch is also calling for supporters to converge on the park to listen to Sellner's speech. This is the first publicly advertised event the group has organised since launching last October. They recognise how important Sunday is for them. One GI supporter has tweeted: "Sellner's speech on Speaker’s Corner will be our Cable Street, and we must win this. Or else, we’re set back years." In a post on Facebook GI have said one of their chants will be "No replacement, Remigration!". Replacement being the term GI use instead of the "white genocide" conspiracy theory, remigration is the term they use instead of openly calling for the ethnic cleansing they want to inflict.
How Sunday goes will impact both the future of GI and the wider far-right in the UK. If they're able to speak unopposed then it will be a huge success. Anti-fascists may not be able to stop Sellner from speaking (it's a big park), but if enough people turn out they can show Sellner, GI and their far-right supporters that they're not welcome in London. If anti-fascists ignore Sunday and the far-right end up pulling big numbers it could be a massive boost for them. They'll grow in confidence and organise more public activities than they otherwise would. Anti-fascists should form affinity groups and use a diversity of tactics to oppose Sellner and GI.
For more information on this Sunday's action, see here.