Just hours after being refused entry to the port of Valletta in Malta, Defend Europe have released a statement bringing an end to their ‘first mission’. Today’s setback was clearly the final straw for a project that has been dogged by mishaps and opposition since it first started. Despite trying to claim the ‘mission’ as a victory – “It was a success. Undisputedly. Totally” – the reality is that since launching the project back in May, the Defend Europe team have spent tens of thousands of Euros, raised from across the international far right, but have very little to show for it. Alongside anti-racist groups and NGOs from across Europe, HOPE not hate has helped undermine Defend Europe at every turn. From defunding their mission and revealing their ship’s owner’s criminal past, to helping close numerous ports to their ship and delaying them to the point that they have had to pay unprecedented amounts for their fuel, we have shown that we will not tolerate far-right projects like Defend Europe (…) Now that they have finally called it a day it is a good time to take a little look back at how the mission panned out. In May, HOPE not hate broke the story that three members of Generation Identitaire, accompanied by the Canadian alt-right journalist Lauren Southern, were detained by the Italian coast guard after they used a small boat and tried to block the ‘Aquarius’, a vessel operated by the NGO SOS Mediterranee and which has an onboard medical team from Medicins Sans Frontières (MSF), from leaving the port of Catania.
Joe Mulhall in Failed Defend Europe mission comes to an end (Hopenothate)