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Sellner's torched car; Martin Sellner. Photo supplied

Identitarian victory in Austria: ‘Patriotic activism is constitutional’

The trial of 17 members of the Identitarian Movement (IB) ended on Thursday in the Styrian town of Graz with acquittals.

Published: July 27, 2018, 10:24 am

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    The Austrian IB leader, Martin Sellner had been accused on charges of establishing a criminal organisation and incitement as part of a group. All 17 people – 16 men and one woman – were acquitted of these charges.

    Two defendants were convicted of property damage or assault with coercion. Among other things, the charges were related to the storming of a lecture at the University of Klagenfurt by IB members. In the course of their action, the rector of the University, Oliver Vitouch, was injured by a blow in the stomach.

    In court, Vitouch testified that it was a “martial action” that was equivalent to an “invasion” and during the trial, the prosecutor had raised serious charges against the group. “They present themselves as the frontline of law-abiding citizens but are constantly breaking the law,” he said. They are “not a movement of patriots, but a movement of cowards.” He called the defendants “pseudomoralists who pretend they protect the state”.

    But in his verdict, the judge struck a completely different tone. “If an organisation in the core area is exercising legal activities, it is not a criminal association, even if it results in criminal offenses.”

    He said the banner with the words “Islamisation kills,” which was hoisted at the Green Party party headquarters, the Grazer Grünen, was “no criticism on Islam, but on the Green Party and radical Islamism “.

    “It was a good day for freedom of expression in Austria,” Sellner said in a YouTube video after the acquittals. He believes that the prosecution will launch an appeal. The judgment, he said, had strengthened his confidence in the rule of law.

    “For all those who hate the IB, I can only say, we do not hate you, we are still open to dialogue,”  Sellner noted. He says that those who do not share the opinion of IB, and are calling for bans instead, are not headed in the right direction. “It was particularly important to us that the judge had made it clear that the IB is a legal organisation. This confirms our basic assumption that patriotic activism is constitutional. ”

    In January, Sellner’s car was torched. In a YouTube video he blamed Antifa for the criminal deed. A state security officer had confirmed that it was arson. “They do that because they want to punish me for my activism and intimidate you,” Sellner told his followers at the time.

    Antifa’s criminal acts have continued because they never feared punishment from the elites who are trying to change homogenous countries into multicultutal dens.

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