The Headlines: February 9th Update

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GPAHE Brings You the Latest News in Far-Right Hate and Extremism

Bellingcat: How A Sailboat Exposed a Dutch Cell of the White Supremacist Active Club Movement

“Photos of a single sailboat revealed an open source trail leading to De Geuzenbond, which first emerged on the Dutch far-right scene in 2018… Experts have identified Geuzenbond as part of the [neo-Nazi] Active Club network. In an October 2023 report, the U.S.-based Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) listed them among 150 Active Clubs around the globe, including several other Dutch groups.” 

GPAHE’s take: Investigations such as Bellingcat’s are crucial for uncovering far right extremist groups’ strategies, highlighting their organization, recruitment, and rapid growth both online and offline. This underscores the importance of GPAHE’s creation and maintenance of the first-ever directory of the neo-Nazi Active Club’s symbols and our Active Club report detailing dozens of such organizations worldwide.

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The Bay Area Reporter: LGBTQ Agenda: Report on global conversion therapy misinformation finds some improvement

“[Wendy] Via told the B.A.R. that the report simulates what someone struggling with finding out about or coming to terms with being LGBTQ might discover in online search engines and how accurate the information is. Since conversion therapy, in a very strict sense, is widely discredited, people claiming to have ways of changing one’s sexual orientation have resorted to new terminology, Via said.”

GPAHE’s take: GPAHE’s research examined how people use various phrases in search engines, such as “I don’t want to be gay” or “I have unwanted same-sex attraction,” not just “conversion therapy” when searching this topic. Anti-LGBTQ+ groups pushing dangerous conversion therapy exploit these searches to spread harmful disinformation. For details on who is disseminating this dangerous content, including conversion therapists and anti-LGBTQ organizations, see our original reporting.

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Background Briefing with Ian Masters: The Right Wing “Texit” Movement Russia and China Are Encouraging

“I think that the far right extremist movement that is now so strong in the United States and is now gaining strength in country after country, really in the Global South too, they look to the US to see what’s happening. The idea is that [Texas Governor Greg] Abbott, [and his state of] Texas, they’re challenging the status quo, they’re not going to bow down, in this case to the federal government… so you see the strong far-right parties in Italy and France and Portugal admiring what Abbott is doing because that is what they want to see across the world. And for them to pick up on “Texit”… [it’s] just a way to show brazen defiance,” Wendy Via, co-founder of GPAHE in discussion with Ian Masters

GPAHE’s take: Last week, GPAHE disclosed information concerning the hateful propaganda being pushed by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other extremists applauding the anti-immigrant convoy that went to the Texas border. Our research has been featured in various news outlets, where both co-founders Wendy Via and Heidi Beirich provided insights. This harmful rhetoric is closely linked to violence by far-right groups. It’s crucial for political leaders to carefully choose their words to avoid fueling anti-immigrant violence, which has both domestic and international repercussions.

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European Interest: The rise of the far-right Chega can cause political instability in Portugal

“For many observers outside Portugal, the rise of Chega came as a surprise. ‘There are a lot of people who didn’t realize that there was such a large, far-right scene in Portugal because historically, since the end of Salazar [in 1974], this hasn’t really been the case,’ Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Extremism (GPAHE), told Euronews in August 2023.”

GPAHE’s take: We highlighted the resurgence of the fascist far-right outfit, Grupo 1143, in Portugal. Despite plans for a march in Lisbon last Saturday to promote their anti-Muslim rhetoric, city authorities intervened and banned the event. Counter-protesters gathered at the intended location, rejecting Grupo 1143’s hateful beliefs. GPAHE previously published a Portugal country report that profiled the far-right groups throughout the country, and anticipated the rise of the far right political party Chega.

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