On August 10, 2019, a conference of several, mainly Third Positionist, European neo-Nazi parties and groups took place in Lisbon, Portugal. The event was organized by Mario Machado of the Portuguese neo-Nazi movement "New Social Order" (Nova Ordem Social).1
The event, attended by around 70 people, was accompanied by a large counter-demonstration with around 2000 protestors.2 Opponents published a manifesto and an online petition in the run-up of the demonstration, which could gather almost 10000 signatures in a week.2
The following speakers were scheduled:
- Mário Machado (Nova Ordem Social, Portugal)
- Francesca Rizzi (Autonomia Nazionalista, Italy)
- Yvan Benedetti (Parti Nationaliste Français, France)
- Blagovest Asenov (National Resistance, Bulgaria)
- Matthias Deyda (Die Rechte, Germany)
- Josele Sanchez (La Tribuna de , Spain)
- Alba Lobera (La Tribuna de , Spain)
There were two alternative flyers making the rounds, one also featuring the Polish Adrianna Gasiorek (Ruch Narodowo-Radykalny)3 as a speaker instead of Alba Lobera (Spain), but considering the publication dates the list above seems to be the latest lineup.4
Below a short profile of some of the participants:
Mário Machado (*1977) is considered among the most influential right-wing extremist activists in Portugal56 and is the founder and leader of several neo-Nazi formations. Machado has a long criminal record that includes racial discrimination, violent offenses, illegal possession of weapons, defamation, kidnapping and extortion.
Machado was drawn to the neo-Nazi scene in the age of 13, when he became a member of the hooligan group 1143, the most nationalistic faction of Juventude Leonina ("Leonina Youth"), a supporters' group of the football team Sporting CP, of which he later would become the leader.
During a stint in prison between 1995 and 2001, together with other skinheads, many of them also serving time for the racial violence that led to the death of Alcindo Monteiro, he founded the Portuguese chapter of the internationally operating white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood, known for its role in organized crime. According to Mário Machado, the organization operated in a system of cells without a central leadership in order to outwit the "Zionist Occupation Government."
In 2004, he founded and led the neo-Nazi group Frente Nacional ("National Front"), considered the most radical faction of Portuguese skinheads,7 which was supporting the National Renewal Party (PNR), of which Mário Machado was a member at the time. In 2005, he founded the Portuguese chapter of the white supremacist group Hammerskin Nation, formed 1988 in Dallas, Texas, the Portugal Hammerskins (PHS).7
In early 2014, Machado, then detained at the Alcoentre prison, distanced himself from the National Renewal Party (PNR), which he had supported as a leader of the far-right Frente Nacional movement, due to the party having abandoned its nationalist line in favor of a more moderate right-wing ideology, while announcing the end of the Hammerskins Portugal.
Machado subsequently announced to form a new political party, which he named Nova Ordem Social ("New Social Order," NOS). The first meeting of the new movement took place on April 26, 2014, gathering about fifty people, including representatives of the ultranationalist parties Golden Dawn (Greece) and NPD (Germany). The date was deliberately chosen to underline the position that the group does not celebrate the April 25, 1974 Carnation Revolution, describing it as a coup and betrayal. The chosen symbol was an arrow pointing upwards, according to Mario because the party would be neither "left or right,"8 in line with the credo of the Third Positionists.
The most well-known of the speakers may be Yvan Benedetti from the "Nationalist Party of France" (Parti Nationaliste Français) and editor of the newspaper Jeune Nation. He was formerly the right hand to French far-right politician Pierre Sidos, and was initially a Front National (FN) member, but after he was expelled, he joined the Parti Nationaliste Français.
The newspaper Jeune Nation is called after its namesake, a French nationalist and neo-fascist movement originating in 1949. It was dissolved in 1958 during the Algerian War after a series of violent episodes.
After its dissolution it merged with the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), a French dissident paramilitary organization during the Algerian War (1954–62), which had carried out terrorist attacks, including bombings and assassinations in an attempt to prevent Algeria's independence from French colonial rule.
The legitimate heir of the Jeune Nation movement was Œuvre française, created by Pierre Sidos during the events of May 1968. After the dissolution of Œuvre Française and Jeunesses nationalistes on 24 July 2013, the website Jeune Nation became active.
Benedetti has ties to the influential French royalist and catholicist organization Action Française. For example, in 2018 he attended a panel talk by Amitié et Action Française celebrating the 150th anniversary of Charles Maurras that included Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma.
Matthias Deyda9 (born ca. 1992) is the foreign affairs representative10 of the 600-member strong11 German far-right minority party Die Rechte ("The Right," DR), which links directly into some of the most notorious elements of Germany's right-wing extremist scene.
Its founder Christian Worch, who until 2017 was the leader of Die Rechte, had in his twenties established the "Action Front of National Socialists" (Aktionsfront Nationaler Sozialisten, ANS) together with probably the most well-known German neo-Nazi at the time, Michael Kühnen. The ANS saw itself as a continuation of the NSDAP and SA and had adopted their ideology, which included support for the anti-Semitic race laws of the Third Reich, and sought contact to other neo-Nazi groups like SS veteran organizations and the "Viking Youth" (Wiking-Jugend).
Deyda is a leading figure in the Dortmund neo-Nazi scene, and appears regularly on relevant local demonstrations and rallies. He can often be seen at events demanding the release of the repeatedly condemned holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck, a neo-Nazi cult figure dubbed the "Nazi grandma" in the press,12 but he also regularly joins anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic rallies in the Dortmund area.
On April 20, 2019, Die Rechte had formed an alliance entitled "Fortress Europe" (Festung Europa) during a meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, in which Deyda had taken part as DR's foreign affairs representative.13
The Bulgarian Blagovest Asenov is the leader of a neo-Nazi group called the National Resistance, "which pledges to protect Bulgaria from 'foreign ideologies' such as parliamentary democracy, moral decay, including 'strongly propagandized sodomy,' and the 'parasitism of minorities,'" according to Human Rights Watch. In the run-up of a racist rally Blagovest Asenov reportedly called on people in a video message to bring “brooms and shovels with wooden handles” in order to “cleanse Sofia from garbage.”14
Assenov, linked to the internationally operating neo-Nazi network Blood and Honor,15 manages a MMA fighting club in Sofia called “NS Fight Club Centre” which is part of a national network entitled “Train, Defend the Motherland." The gym serves as a hub for Sofia's neo-Nazi scene, but also to win over youngsters for its cause. Members of the gym regularly participate in events organized by the National Resistance and wear uniforms with the group’s logo.
- 1. Nova Ordem Social (Blog), https://nova-ordem-social.blogspot.com/2019/08/cartaz-final-conferencia-nacionalista.html.
- 2. a. b. Mu Xuequan, "Nationalist conference convenes in Lisbon amid protests: report," Xinhua News, August 11, 2019, www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-08/11/c_138299510.htm.
- 3. "Ruch Narodowo-Radykalny," https://ruchnarodowo-radykalny.blogspot.com/.
- 4. Twitter post by Yvan Benedetti, August 10, 2019, https://twitter.com/Yvan_Benedetti/status/1160103450476273664.
- 5. José Mourão da Costa, O Partido Nacional Renovador: a nova extrema-direita na democracia portuguesa, Análise Social no.201, Lisbon, October 2011, http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0003-25732011000400008.
- 6. Fábio Chang de Almeida, A direita radical no Portugual democrático: os rumos após a revolução dos cravos (1974-2012), Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 2014, https://www.lume.ufrgs.br/bitstream/handle/10183/114413/000953077.pdf
- 7. a. b. Luís Manuel Cabral, "O líder do movimento "skinhead" português," Diário de Notícias, August 28, 2008, https://www.dn.pt/dossiers/sociedade/extrema-direita/perfil/interior/o-lider-do-movimento-skinhead-portugues-1006000.html.
- 8. Sonia Simões,"A história de amor entre um skinhead e uma menina de Cascais," Observador, May 20, 2014, https://observador.pt/especiais/a-historia-de-amor-entre-um-skinhead-e-uma-menina-de-cascais/.
- 9. Facebook page of Matthias Deyda, https://www.facebook.com/matthiasdeyda.do.
- 10. "Internationales Bündnis „Festung Europa“ unter Beteiligung der Partei DIE RECHTE gegründet!," Die Rechte, April 20, 2019, https://die-rechte.net/lv-nordrhein-westfalen/kv-dortmund-dortmundecho/internationales-buendnis-festung-europa-unter-beteiligung-der-partei-die-rechte-gegruendet/.
- 11. "Verfassungsschutzbericht 2018," Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat, https://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2018.pdf.
- 12. Adam Lusher, "'Nazi grandma' who 'went on the run to avoid jail' for Holocaust denial has been caught in Germany," Independent, May 8, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nazi-grandma-on-the-run-caught-ursula-haverbeck-holocaust-denier-germany-jailed-denial-auschwitz-a8341876.html.
- 13. "Internationales Bündnis „Festung Europa“ unter Beteiligung der Partei DIE RECHTE gegründet!," Die Rechte, April 23, 2019, https://die-rechte.net/lv-nordrhein-westfalen/kv-dortmund-dortmundecho/internationales-buendnis-festung-europa-unter-beteiligung-der-partei-die-rechte-gegruendet/.
- 14. Kyle Knight, "Sofia LGBT Pride Should Showcase a Tolerant Bulgaria," Human Rights Watch, June 5, 2017, https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/05/sofia-lgbt-pride-should-showcase-tolerant-bulgaria.
- 15. Mariya Cheresheva, "Nationalist Threats Shadow Sofia Pride’s 10th Anniversary," Balkan Insight, June 9, 2019, https://balkaninsight.com/2017/06/09/sofia-pride-marks-10th-anniversary-amid-security-fears-06-08-2017/.