Beyond the Med – Some remarks on the Identiarian pirates

While fishermen and trade union activists try to prevent the identitarian pirate ship from refuelling in Tunesia, it is time to try looking beyond the AIS data. This text is considered as a small contribution to unmasking the networks and strategies of the Identitarian pirates.

One of the most remarkable things of the pirate mission is the transnational collaboration: The mission itself was endorsed by members of various European far-right parties, such as the Belgian Vlaams Belang or David Duke a former KKK-leader. After the identitarians lost their PayPlal accounts for collecting money they switched to the US bounty collecting site weseachr [1]. This step alone illustrates who both the European Identiarians and the US „alt-right“ are influenced by each other. (This is further more illustrated by the excessive uses of „Pepe the Frog“ and „God Emporer Trump“ memes used by the Identitarians.)
Aside this mutual influence there is another connection, while there were reports the Identitarians are (partly) financed by the US „alt rights“ (IMHO not necessarily, since a German far-right group recently bought a house for 300,000€ and gave it to the identitarians [2]) the far-right activists got support by the Canadian self-proclaimed journalist Laura Southern. Southern made the initial kick-off in the Mediterranean in May possible by imposing another journalist and obtaining information on the departure of an humanitarian vessel. Southern had previously shown strong admiration for the Identitarians [3]. (There are further interessting points to make on the networks between US and EU far-right activists, but for the sake of my time, I‘ll leave those to someone elses texts.

While in various media coverages the nationalities of some far-right activists (German, French, Austrian, Italian) [e.g. 4], nobody (to my knowledge) reported on Czech activists involved in the pirate mission.

The key group of the German Identitarians is called Kontrakultur and is based in the East German city of Halle. As antifascists showed [2] this group maintains strong connections to Ukrainian fascists and Czech and French Identitarians (not to speakt of the strong connections to Austria). Some members of Kontrakultur Halle were holding presentations in Prague at the end of May 2017. Therefore, it is plausible, that they recruited the Czechs taking part in the pirate mission. As in other Central and Eastern European countries the Identitarians are not as strong as their Western European counterparts. The suggestion by the British antiracist group „Hope not Hate“ of possible armed Ukrainian mercenaries aboard the pirate ship [5] had therefore to be taken extremely serious, since the Kontrakultur Halle has (as mentioned above) close ties with the Ukrainian fascists of Azov/Asow.
The Halle-based group is represented by its member Simon Kaupert. Kaupert is conducting „research“ for the German far-right network „Ein Prozent für unser Land“. Said network tries to organise far-right protests throughout Germany and supports the far-right protesters with money and legal aid. For some time „Revolte auf Beton“ a group hailing fascism was part of the network of „Ein Prozent für unser Land“ [6]. On Twitter Kaupert, who led a Pegida-branch in Southern Germany, calls himself „Simon Wald“ as a hommage to Ernst Jüngers essay „Der Waldgang“. Said essay appears to be some kind of „holy book“ for the German-speaking Identitarians. The research conducted by Kaupert basically shows, that there are people in European port he doesn‘t perceive as European. (Who would have thought that. I‘m still waiting for him to find out one the the following truths: „Water is wet“ and „The air temperature at night is usually lower, than during the day.“ [Sorry for this sarcsm.]).

At least the Identitarian groups in Bavaria (IB Bayern) and in Swabia (IB Schwaben) tried to use the attention generated by their comrades in the Mediterrean to push their (actually anti-semitic) conspiracy theory of a „Great Replacement“.

In German neo-Nazi circles the pirate mission strengthens the image of the Identitarians as a group actually does something. (Although the multiple drawbacks at the Suez Canal and on Cyprus have damaged this image.)

Nevertheless, „Defend Europe“ illustrates the transnational networks maintained by the Identitarians and it appears that groups not on board of the pirate vessel are trying the push the narrative of a „Replacement“.

If you know some German or are willing to use Google Translate, I strongly recommand follwing @MenschMerz on Twitter for analyses of the German and Austrian Identitarians.