Anti-immigration activists awaited in the port of Catania, Wednesday, as they awaited the arrival a ship commissioned to rove the Mediterranean in search of boats containing refugees and migrants.

The activists, who have been gathering the city for days, are organised under the name ‘Defend Europe’, includes members of the ‘Identitarian’ movement as well as supporters from the UK, US and Canada. The presence of the activists has attracted planned protests and criticism from Catania’s locals.

SOT, Anti-Identitarian Activist (Italian): “A set of associations, we have drawn up a petition, have launched a mobilisation at Catania’s port, because we consider that the mobilisation of Generation Identity is an extremely serious and dangerous breakthrough from the European far right wing – extreme far right racist and xenophobic. The breakthrough is the fact that for the first time it is no longer the organisation of a demonstration, no matter how violent, but it consists of the organisation of a proper paramilitary group that will impede the migrant rescue operations even will assume the responsibility of deliver to the Libyan authorities, no better clarified, hundreds and hundreds of persons that are escaping from Libya.”

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