Most groups profiled spread the racist and anti-immigrant “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory; others push anti-LGBTQ+ hate
The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism today released a report profiling 13 far-right extremist groups in Portugal.
The report, Far-Right Hate and Extremist Groups, Portugal (also available in Portuguese), details 13 hate and extremist groups — including the rising far-right political party Chega! — that GPAHE identifies as embracing beliefs and activities that demean, harass, or inspire violence against people based on their identity traits.
The majority of the groups profiled are anti-immigrant, white nationalist, or both. The four anti-LGBTQ+ groups are also anti-immigrant, showing the trend seen elsewhere around the globe of far-right groups expanding the targets of their hate and extremism efforts, and exploiting the public scare over drag and Pride events happening across the West. The report also identifies groups that are neo-Nazi, antisemitic, anti-women, and anti-Roma as well as conspiracist, some of which started in response to the health measures during COVID. See list of groups by ideology.
“The anti-immigrant and white nationalist fervor among far-right groups in Portugal is very troubling,” said Global Project Against Hate and Extremism co-founder Wendy Via. “Especially when political parties and hardcore groups are spreading the same hate.”
The political parties named in the report, including Chega!, Alternativa Democrática Nacional and Ergue-Te/Partido Nacional Renovador, are profiled in addition to dangerous well-known hate and extremist groups with an international presence including the white supremacist Proud Boys, the neo-Nazi skinhead group Hammerskins, and Identitarian groups.
Chega! particularly has worked to poison the national discourse with racist, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-immigrant, and anti-Roma rhetoric and according to the report is a common vector for more extreme movements on the Portuguese far right. Recent polls place them at around 13 percent of the vote as of June 2023.
“The fast rise and influence of Chega is a reminder that no country is ever truly immune to exclusionary, demagogic forces, and even tiny far-right parties can quickly expand their base of support,” said Via.
The report shows a trend of international influence and the groups present in Portugal exemplify that these far-right movements truly are transnational. For instance, the Portuguese far right pulls from the French neo-fascist (Movimento Social Nacionalista), Italian neo-fascist (Escudo Identitário/Força Nova), French Identitarian (Portugueses Primeiro/Escudo Identitário), and even American white supremacist (Proud Boys Portugal) movements. The “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, common among far-right groups in Europe and the U.S., has also taken hold in parts of the Portuguese far right, with more than half the groups profiled spreading this dangerous lie.
“Far-right extremist movements inspire terrorism, mass killings, and rights-restricting policies around the world, and as our report shows, the various movements are increasingly interconnected,” said Heidi Beirich, co-founder of Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. “Community safety and democracies are at risk. It’s critical that people, locally and globally, understand the far-right extremist landscape, how it operates, and how the dots are connected within countries and transnationally in order to counter the threats from these groups, so we can get ahead of it. We hope these reports will help advocates and policymakers do that.”
The entire list includes the following groups:
- Active Club Portugal
- Alternativa Democrática Nacional (ADN) (National Democratic Alternative)
- Associação Portugueses Primeiro (Portuguese First Association)
- Blood and Honour (B&H) Portugal
- Chega! (Enough!)
- Chega Juventude (Chega Youth)
- Habeas Corpus
- Ergue-Te (Rise Up)/Partido Nacional Renovador (National Renewal Party, PNR)
- Escudo Identitário (Identitarian Shield)
- Força Nova (New Force)
- Movimento Social Nacionalista (Nationalist Social Movement)
- Portugal Hammerskins
- Proud Boys Portugal
The Portugal report is the fifth in a series of country reports released by GPAHE. The organization previously released reports on France, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Australia. Additional country reports will be released later in 2023.