Several members of the hipster-right, anti-mass migration Identitarian youth movement blocked one of the ships of a pro-migrant NGO which was setting sail for Libya to pick up migrants and ferry them to Europe.
The activists blocked the passage of the ship Aquarius from the pro-migrant NGO SOS Mediterranee as it was leaving the port in the Sicilian city of Catania, reports the Salzburger Nachrichten.
Members of the group, in a small boat, held up flags bearing their lambda symbol and flares and were eventually taken into custody by the Italian coastguard.
On the group’s Facebook page, they gave the reasons for the action saying: “With this action, we point to the criminal smuggler madness in the Mediterranean. For months hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants are dragged through to Europe by donation funded NGOs and do not flinch but cooperate with criminal traffickers.”
Co-leader of the Austrian branch of the Identitarian movement, Martin Sellner said: “The media and politicians need to look at this madness. We have, however, decided to act. It is our duty and our responsibility to actively intervene here and to do our part to ensure that these criminal activities come to an end.”
Italian prosecutor in Sicily Carmelo Zuccaro has accused the pro-migrant NGOs of directly working with people smugglers.
“We have evidence that there are direct contacts between certain NGOs and people traffickers in Libya,” he said.
“We do not yet know if and how we could use this evidence in court, but we are quite certain about what we say; telephone calls from Libya to certain NGOs, lamps that illuminate the route to these organisations’ boats, boats that suddenly turn off their (locating) transponders, are ascertained facts.”
As following the action, the Identitarians have formed a new website for their new mission they are dubbing “Defend Europe”. The group said in their mission statement they are looking to gather a crew, a larger ship, and to disrupt as many of the pro-migrant NGO vessels as possible in the coming weeks and months.
The Identitarian youth movement, which started in France under the name Generation Identitaire (GI), have been active in many countries across Europe including Germany, Austria, and Italy. Most known for their often high profile protests, the group opposes mass migration and Islamisation.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart London earlier this month in Paris, GI member and Paris leader Pierre Larti described why many, including himself, become active in the organisation and the effects of mass migration on young people in Europe.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org