This week on Defend Europa, our writer Pedro Silva, had the pleasure of interviewing a board member of “Escudo Identitário”, a Portuguese National-Identitarian movement. They celebrate their first anniversary this month, so we decided to contact them so that our readers from all over the world can understand better the Portuguese political and identitarian scenario. Let’s jump straight in.
For the people unfamiliar with the phenomenon of “identitarianism”, who are you and what do you strive for?
We are the “Escudo Identitário”, a youth movement that emerged in September 2017 and since then we have been at the forefront in the defense of Portugal and the Portuguese. For us identity and identitarianism is to define who we are, what we want and to where we go. “Escudo Identitário” openly defends the preservation of the Portuguese and European ethnocultural identity.
How and when was Escudo Identitário founded, what motivations were behind the foundation, and how do you distinguish yourselves from other European identitarian movements?
“Escudo” was officially founded in September 2017 but to better understand what “Escudo” is and how it was formed we have to step back until March of that year. In that month there was a conference at “FCSH” (Social and Human Sciences School of the University of Lisbon), organized by “Nova Portugalidade”, a Luso-Tropicalist group, in which Prof. Jaime Nogueira Pinto would participate. This conference was eventually canceled for ideological reasons by the students association. This was not well received by several young people who intended to attend the conference and through Facebook, we organized a surprise protest: we gathered around 40 people, entered the university and confronted the students association.
This intervention was so successful that it reached the Parliament and even the President of Portugal commented. Among those who participated we began to talk and we understood that in fact there was a group of irreverent young people who wanted to change the status quo.
I do not think there is any major differences between Escudo Identitário and the other European movements. The biggest difference, I think, is that we are relatively new in the European scenario as we only have one year of existence.
What is the meaning of the logotype? Why a lynx?
The Iberian lynx, besides from the fact that is an animal characteristic of our Peninsula, is also the most threatened feline of this planet and we decided to create an analogy. Our values, our ideals and even our culture are also in danger of extinction. The liberal system aims at unifying cultures and human beings by destroying what makes us unique and beautiful. Just as the lynx is in serious danger, so we, Europeans, can cease to exist.
What are the most striking activities that Escudo Identitário has done or accomplished during this first year of activity and what are the goals to achieve in the future, as well as the plans to achieve them?
All of our actions were remarkable, but if I have to highlight some of what we have organized, I have to speak about the defense of the statue of “Padre António Vieira”; the 10 of June (Portugal’s National Day); the formation of the Escudo’s North Nucleus; the banner placed in Arco Triunfal and the protest in Rossio against human trafficking, in which this one is a mask for the welcoming and support of refugees and non-European migrants.
In the future we intend to increase the number of nuclei scattered throughout the country, to increase the range of flags that Escudo Identitário defends (or condemns) and to become the main meta-political movement in Portugal.
Portugal is not often reported or discussed, in Europe, in the face of the growth of nationalism and identitarian movements, as is the case in the rest of Europe. In what situation is Portugal, regarding migratory flows and the growth of the political support of nationalist and identitarian movements?
Portugal suffered very little from the refugee crisis. The few who came here quickly fled to Germany and, with the exception of some exiguous cases, those who remained did not cause serious problems. Portugal’s problem lies in the massive immigration we have suffered in the last 40 years that has deprived large areas of our cities and even rural areas. This is a problem that the Nationalist parties (such as PNR) have failed in their attempts to find a solution as they have seek comfort in Civic Nationalism.
At the moment, only “Escudo Identitário” has an active voice in combating this massive migration.
Does Portugal still maintain traditional values in terms of family, identity and gender?
In certain way, Portugal still maintains a relatively healthy country in these terms, if we compare it with Sweden for example. Especially if we leave the big cities, like Lisbon and Porto, we can see that people continue to be proudly Portuguese, they continue to defend the concept of the family and do not have the patience for such “gender” nonsense’s.
However times are changing and with that Portugal follows the same course. Escudo Identitário is not reactionary. “Defending the future” is our flag. We desire change but at our way and not the liberal way that will only lead us to the abyss. “Escudo” is an agent of change in Portugal and we will fight for this change. But it will be a healthy and rooted change, and not a degenerated and dispossessed as the liberals intend.
How do the Portuguese people react to your existence and growth and what is your opinion or relationship with the Portuguese press?
Overall the opinions have been very positive both in terms of comments on our Facebook page and also in terms of adherence to our events, greetings and support on the streets and in the universities. All of this, against, the detriment of the constant campaign of misrepresentation and defamation carried out by the Portuguese press.
The press in Portugal, in general, is ruled by being of poor quality, extremely partial and linked to political parties or people. The Portuguese, sometimes, arrogantly criticize American media like “CNN” or “Fox News” saying “how can anyone believe that” without considering that our TV channels are sometimes much worse.
Elections for the European Parliament are approaching. What is your opinion on the European Union and on the fact that Portugal is a member state?
Escudo Identitário is in favor of a Union of Europe. At the moment this small bureaucratic Europe of Brussels tells us nothing, but perhaps there is hope and we can transform this “little Europe” into the true ideal of a united Europe. In recent times we have witnessed more and more identitarian discourses by European politicians like Orban and even Salvini. It won’t be they who will naturally save us, but they will open the door to a freer and more serious type of speech and to other types of politicians and politics.
Will you carry out actions or campaigns about the European Union and its upcoming elections?
We have nothing planned but it is possible.
What positions or ideologies characterize Escudo Identitário on an economic and financial level and what are your proposals or campaigns carried out on these topics?
We do not have a concrete economic policy yet. The main ideal is that the economy should serve people and not use people. From there everything is possible. We reject neo-liberalism as well as we reject any Marxist or socialist rampage and recognize merit in some Hayek ideas but also in some Keynesian ideas.
In the end, it is to bet on a mixed economy, not like the one we have today, little taxes and little bureaucracy, betting on the budget balance and freedom from the debt that suffocates us and enslaves us today.
In terms of campaigns, we organized in April a protest against corruption and recapitalization of “Novo Banco” (Portuguese private bank) by the State.
About your foreign relations, with which groups or movements do you have connections or friendship relations?
We have links to the Italian movement “Casapound”, in which we see ourselves in many aspects. We also have contact with “Bastion Social” in France and “Hogar Social” in Spain. They are movements older than ours and with which we can learn immensely.
How do you react when you see your neighbors, Spain, witnessing an exponential growth of immigration from Africa? Do you think it could have negative impacts on Portugal and could threaten your identity?
This growth, of immigration from Africa, was already suffered in Portugal between the 1970´s and 2000´s, but instead of landing on the coast, they would arrive by plane legally and with paperwork. Any kind of mass immigration is harmful to the host country as it leads to the creation of ethnic ghettos, racial tensions and worse: the demographic threat. Of course we are aware of what is happening in Spain and sincerely hope that the situation will be regularized in time.
In terms of political figures or authors, Portuguese or Europeans, is there any personality that stands out in the opinion of your movement and inspire you? If so, why?
We do not get inspired by politicians. We are inspired by men and women of action.
Finally, what is the spirit and environment that is lived among the members of Escudo Identitário, at this moment, when you complete 1 year of activity?
At this moment, the environment stands out for a great optimism about the future and for a will to go further. We exceeded our expectations. A year ago we never thought that the group would be so successful and would grow so much in such a short time. In terms of identity movements in Portugal, there is no one more active, more present and with members as loyal and willing to give everything for the cause as Escudo Identitário. We’re ready for whatever comes next.