Leader of the Austrian branch of the anti-mass migration Identitarian youth movement Martin Sellner claims to have been attacked by a group of far-left extremists, a confrontation that led him to discharge a pepper spray gun to fend off the attack.
The leader of the hipster-right movement, who some refer to as the “Greenpeace of the right” for their various protests and street theatre, told Breitbart London that a group of around four or five masked black-bloc style individuals attacked him without warning. Sellner says that he was waiting at the Shottentor subway station for a friend when the masked group approached him.
“I was at the Schottentor station at 10:00 pm to meet a friend and got into a discussion with a student I knew,” he said, ” Suddenly four to five masked guys appeared and got aggressive, kicking, throwing punches and insulting me.”
Sellner said he used his pepper spray gun against the attackers and that they eventually fled after someone called the police. He identified the gun as the “Pfefferspraypistole JPX” which he said he purchased through Amazon. Unlike Germany, the possession of pepper spray for self-defence purposes does not require a license in Austria.
The attackers, according to Sellner, likely came from the protests against the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) organized Akademiker Ball that took place on Friday evening. In the past protests against the event had turned violent with left-wing extremists attacking police and causing property damage but this year police claimed the protests were relatively peaceful and the turnout much lower than previous years.
In the past protests against the event had turned violent with left-wing extremists attacking police and causing property damage but this year police claimed the protests were relatively peaceful and the turnout much lower than previous years. Police claim that around 2,800 demonstrators showed up compared to 8,000 in 2016.
Austrian radio journalist Bernt Koshuh witnessed the attack saying he saw two masked individuals running from Sellner and posted a picture of Sellner talking to police after the incident.
"Sie haben mir die Schreckschusspistole entwendet, ich habe geschossen" (vorher), sagt Sellner zur Polizei. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/3BMboz2BfQ
— Bernt Koschuh (@BerntKoschuh) February 3, 2017
Sellner told Breitbart London that he had filed a police report and told authorities he acted in self-defense and that the attackers had stolen his pepper spray gun after he fired it and then later threw it away. Police have stated that they are investigating the matter and announced a provisional firearms ban on Sellner.
The attack would not be the first time radical left-wing extremists have attacked a member of the Identitarian movement. Last year during a demonstration one of the members of the group was put into a coma after extremists threw bricks at the Identitarians from the roof of a nearby building.
Far-left extremist violence has been on the rise in neighboring Germany where members of the anti-mas migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) say they have been attacked hundreds of times. The same black-bloc style tactics of destruction and violence have also been used in the U.S. at both the inauguration of President Donald Trump and more recently at the University of California Berkeley.