Thousands of young people who are say they are “pro-European but anti-European Union” held a march in Vienna yesterday as part of the Identity Movement which has sprung up in France, Germany and Austria.
The movement, known in the Germanic countries as Die Identitaere Bewegung and in France as Génération Identitaire, wants to reclaim Europe’s Christian “cultural birth-right” back from multiculturalism, the Local reports.
It is part of the Bloc Identitaire, a French nationalist group which opposes imperialism, “whether it is American or Islamic.”
Police expected the march to attract 2,000 demonstrators, but said: “We don’t expect any trouble.”
The young people look for inspiration to Charles Martel, the 8th century French hero who stopped the Islamic advance into Europe at the Battle of Tours, sometimes called the Battle of Poitiers, in 732.
In November 2012 Génération Identitaire occupied the mosque in Poitiers to mark Martell’s victory.
The movement has designed an anti-EU poster showing a Spartan warrior in battle under the headline: “Our Europe is not their Union.”
In a defence against critics of the movement in the Austrian press in the run-up to the demonstration, the movement’s website declares: “We are not violent – but we know how to defend ourselves! We are not fanatics – but ready for our home to go through hell!”
A left-wing counter-demonstration was also reported to have taken place.