Austrian activist Martin Sellner, the leader of Defend Europe, made his first trip to the United States this week to spend time with American and Canadian figures from the right, including Brittany Pettibone and Lauren Southern. We met up with the three of them to discuss the parallels and differences on each continent’s “new right” movements, as well as what they plan to do next.
“I think it’s important to point out that they have mastered activism on the streets, while we have mastered it online,” Pettibone said of Defend Europe. “So, we have a lot that we can teach each other. It’s not so much about uniting our movements, it’s about sharing information and helping each other strengthen our movements.”
Sellner’s movement, Génération Identitaire, has made global headlines with their Defend Europe mission, which aims to stop human trafficking by blocking NGO ships that are bringing illegal migrants into Europe instead of returning them to their home nations. Southern faced massive backlash, including having her Patreon account deleted, over her joining the group of activists for a mission in May.
Pettibone and Southern both joined Sellner on the Defend Europe mission.
Prior to the actual mission, Southern and others were detained by the Italian Coast Guard for attempting to halt a ship called the Aquarius, a German NGO boat, which has been illegally bringing migrants from the Libyan Sea to Sicily. Southern explained that the ship was on their way to go pick up more migrants and was empty at the time of their demonstration.
Still, Patreon alleged that the group’s actions could lead to a “loss of life” and permanently banned Southern and others involved from the platform.
Southern is a Canadian activist, journalist, and YouTuber. She released a book last year titled “Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.”
Sellner is the leader of the Austrian chapter of Generation Identity and has been a full time activist for most of his adult life. He has also authored a book titled Identitär! which can be purchased on his website.
Pettibone is an American free speech advocate, author, activist, and YouTuber.
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BACK TO WORK: Ford Motors Announces They Intend to Begin Reopening Plants on Apr. 6
Ford does not want to suspend production for months because of coronavirus.
Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that they intend to begin reopening some of their plants on Apr. 6, as the iconic automaker hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will not sideline their business for long.
Ford said last week that they would be suspending all production at their facilities indefinitely. They made the decision along with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with union workers spooked because of potential exposure to the coronavirus.
While Ford wants to resume their operations as quickly as possible, their plans are not written in stone. They could re-evaluate their time frame if the coronavirus pandemic worsens over the next ten days.
“We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America, said in a statement.
GM and Chrysler have not issued any possible schedule for resuming operations at the present time. If all goes according to plan, Ford will re-open the Hermosillo Assembly Plant on Apr. 6 for one shift. It would then open many more facilities across the country on Apr. 14.
The other corporate titans of Motor City may be skittish about reopening because of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian restrictions on industry. Whitmer has issued an edict forcing all supposedly non-essential businesses to shutter until Apr. 13.
“The current trajectory we’re on seems a lot like Italy,” Whitmer said earlier this week. “We’ve got to do everything in our power to keep that from happening in Michigan.”
“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities,” she added. “The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”
While public officials like Whitmer may have the best of intentions, their forced shut-down of the economy may cause more lasting damage to the country than the coronavirus ever could.
“The situation is fluid and can change week to week,” said Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM. “We don’t have firm return-to-work dates at this time.”
Americans are desperate to go back to work as the social safety net is strained like never before during these trying times. A dubious record was set for jobless claims filed in March, with three million Americans filing for unemployment benefits. President Trump hopes to have the country back on track by the Easter holiday.
“I think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I think there are certain people that would like [the economy] to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls.”
He added: “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily — I don’t do that. But the country wants to get back to work.”
It will not be easy for President Trump to pull the nation out of the grip of media-driven mass hysteria that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
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