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Martin Sellner

Martin Sellner
Martin Sellner - Kundgebung beim Weghuberpark (2019).JPG
Martin Sellner (2019)
Born (1989-01-08) 8 January 1989 (age 30)
CitizenshipAustrian
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
OccupationActivist

Martin Sellner (born 8 January 1989) is an Austrian Neue Rechte and Identitarian activist,[1][2] leader of the Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs (IBÖ, Identitarian Movement of Austria),[3][4][5] and active in the alt-right movement.[6][7][8]

In 2008, he helped leading Austrian neo-Nazis hinder liberal demonstrations and made pilgrimages to memorial services for Wehrmacht soldiers.[5]

In March 2018, he was denied entry and deported from the United Kingdom.[9][10][11] A year later, he was denied entry to the United States.[12]

Biography

Sellner was raised outside of Vienna. He became involved in nationalist politics as a teenager, being part of Austria's neo-Nazi scene.[13] In 2006, at the age of 17, Sellner admitted placing a swastika on a synagogue in Baden bei Wien and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service in a Jewish cemetery.[14] As of 2016, Sellner is studying philosophy in Vienna[15], whereas he dropped out of law school.[16]

Activism

In 2006 he installed swastika stickers with another person on the synagogue in Baden, Lower Austria. Also stickers with a swastika and the inscription "Legalized It" as well as stickers with a coat of arms and the letters AJ (for "Aryan Youth") were used. The accomplice later stated in an interrogation that they had "wanted to do something" when they heard about the conviction of the British Holocaust denier David Irving. Sellner admitted the act and did 100 hours of community service in a diversion at the Jewish cemetery in Baden, which is why the public prosecutor's office renounced a criminal trial.[17][18]

In 2008, he helped leading Austrian neo-Nazis hinder liberal demonstrations and made pilgrimages to memorial services for Wehrmacht soldiers.[5] As of 2016, he said that he had broken with neo-Nazism, and that the rising popularity of Nazism is a failure of society.[5]

In April 2016, he disrupted a theatre performance of Elfriede Jelinek's piece, Die Schutzbefohlenen (theatre performance with migrants seeking asylum),[19] along with around 30 members of his organisation, spilling fake blood.[20] The blood was intended to symbolize the "blood of Bataclan and Brussels".[21]

Legal and visa problems

In February 2017, Sellner was involved in a fight in a Vienna U-Bahn station where he used pepper spray on people he described as far-left activists. Since this incident, he has been banned from carrying weapons.[22]

In March 2018, Sellner and his girlfriend Brittany Pettibone were denied entry to the United Kingdom at Luton Airport on the grounds that their presence in the United Kingdom was not conducive to the public good.[23] Sellner intended to deliver an address at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London.[24] They were denied entry, detained for two days and deported.[23][25]

On 25 March 2019 Sellner's apartment was searched by the Austrian police. His computer, mobile phone, all data storage devices and cash cards were confiscated on suspicion that he was a member of a terrorist organization; early in 2018 he had received a donation of $1,500 from Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the Australia-born suspect in the Christchurch mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.[26][27][28] Sellner denied any involvement in the attacks.[29]

According to Sellner, U.S. authorities canceled his permit to travel without a visa to the United States thus preventing him from visiting his American fiancée Brittany Pettibone.[30] In 2019, the Republican Committee of Pettibone's home county of Kootenai County, Idaho called on the American federal government to allow Sellner to travel to the United States.[31] The move caused considerable controversy within the Republican Party and the State of Idaho.[32] Sellner has said he wants to be allowed into the country so he can marry his fiancée and so they can live together in Post Falls, Idaho rather than his native Austria.[33]

Austrian police expanded their searches of Sellners' property during June 2019 in connection with the Christchurch shootings.[34]

In June 2019, Sellner was permanently excluded from entering the UK on security grounds.[35]

Views

Wolfgang Ullrich has suggested that there are connections between the worldview of Sellner and the theories of Martin Heidegger and Carl Schmitt.[36]

ITV's documentary film investigation Undercover – The New British Far-Right claimed the existence of undercover footage of Sellner discussing contacts between Generation Identity and white supremacist groups in the United States, but stated that these contacts must be hidden due to public relations. The documentary claimed that Sellner stated that Jews were a problem in the 1920s and made references to the "Jewish question". Sellner also said that the domination of the American alt-right by the "Jewish question" is a "complete strategical and theoretical failure". It claimed he said he was an antisemite in his youth, and that his friends made offensive comments about the Holocaust.[37] He supports The Great Replacement conspiracy theory. Sellner responded by calling the documentary a "hit piece", and that the statements were taken out of context. In a statement released by Generation Identity and Sellner, they stated that the group wants to preserve European "ethno-cultural identity" and stated that the group has no hidden agendas.[37][38]

References

  1. ^ "How "identitarian" politics is changing Europe". The Economist. 28 March 2018. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  2. ^ Micha Brumlik: Das alte Denken der neuen Rechten, Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, March 2016
  3. ^ Shubert, Atika (2 December 2016). "Hipster or hatemonger? The trendy young face of Austria's far-right". CNN. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. ^ Faiola, Anthony (19 May 2016). "Austria's right-wing populism reflects anti-Muslim platform of Donald Trump". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Reuter, Benjamin (20 May 2016). "'Right-Wing Hipsters' Increasingly Powerful In Austria". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Meet the IB, Europe's version of America's alt-right". The Economist. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  7. ^ "A European alt-right group wants to take to the sea to stop rescuers from saving migrants". Vox. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Austrian presidential hopeful Norbert Hofer rides Trump's wave". Sky News. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  9. ^ Hosenball, Mark (11 March 2018). "British Authorities Ban Three Foreign Far-Right Activists". Reuters. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  10. ^ Gross, Jenny (12 March 2018). "U.K. Bars Entry to Two Far-Right Activists". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ Oppenheim, Maya (18 March 2018). "Lutz Bachmann: Founder of far-right anti-Islam group Pegida barred from entry to UK and deported". Independent. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Austrian far-right extremist denied US travel permit after Christchurch link". Deutsche Welle. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  13. ^ Simon Cox and Anna Meisel (20 September 2018). "Martin Sellner: The new face of the far right in Europe". BBC News. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Austria far-right activist condemned over swastika". BBC News. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  15. ^ Andreas Speit: Bürgerliche Scharfmacher. Deutschlands neue rechte Mitte – von AfD bis Pegida. Orell Füssli Verlag, Zurich 2016, ISBN 978-3-280-05632-5, Page 169.
  16. ^ Daniel Erk: Martin Sellner hört Hip-Hop und hasst den Islam. ZEIT Campus Nr. 5/2017, online 5. Oktober 2017.
  17. ^ Martin Sellner klebte Hakenkreuze auf Synagoge, auf kleinezeitung.at
  18. ^ Sellner klebte Hakenkreuze an Synagoge, auf heute.at
  19. ^ ""Die Schutzbefohlenen": Weinen mit Jelinek". Die Presse. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  20. ^ Giuffrida, Angela (21 July 2017). "Sicilian mayor moves to block far-right plan to disrupt migrant rescues". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Identitäre Bewegung: Das lächelnde Gesicht der Neuen Rechten". Huffington Post. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Nach Schuss in U2-Station: Rechtem droht ein Jahr Haft". Heute. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  23. ^ a b Porter, Tom (12 March 2018). "Alt-Right Media Personalties Denied Entry to UK". Newsweek. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  24. ^ Peyer, Robin de (10 March 2018). "Martin Sellner: Far-right leader plans Hyde Park speech after Ukip event cancelled". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Canadian far-right activist Lauren Southern barred from Britain for anti-Muslim views". National Post. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  26. ^ Corera, Gordon (8 July 2019). "Is there a growing far-right threat online?" – via www.bbc.com.
  27. ^ Thorwarth, Katja: Hausdurchsuchung bei Martin Sellner wegen Spende von Christchurch-Attentäter. Frankfurter Rundschau. 26 March 2019
  28. ^ Austrian far-right activist raided over possible donation from New Zealand shooting suspect. ABC Online. 26 March 2019
  29. ^ "Austrian far-right activist probed over links to Christchurch attacks". BBC News. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  30. ^ Jordans, Frank (28 March 2019). "Austrian far-right activist says US nixed his travel permit". AP News. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  31. ^ Kelety, Josh. "An alt-right figure who pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory finds allies among Kootenai County Republicans". inlander.com. Inlander. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  32. ^ Northrup, Craig. "LOCAL REPUBLICANS DISAGREE ON WHAT THEIR PARTY REPRESENTS". cdapress.com. The Coeur d'Alene Press. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  33. ^ K. Geranios, Nicholas. "Hate makes a comeback in the Pacific Northwest". apnews.com. The Associated Press. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  34. ^ Wilson, Jason (26 June 2019). "Austrian far-right leader searched on suspicion of forming terrorist group with Christchurch shooter". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  35. ^ Quinn, Ben; Wilson, Jason (26 June 2019). "Anti-Islamic extremist permanently excluded from entering UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  36. ^ Ullrich, Wolfgang (7 November 2017). "Die Wiederkehr der Schönheit Über einige unangenehme Begegnungen". Pop-Zeitschrift. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  37. ^ a b "Undercover: Inside Britain's New Far Right (44:00-48:00)". ITV. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  38. ^ "Generation Identity rally in London: We are for Europeans "without a migration background" – HOPE not hate". HOPE not hate. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.

External links