A small but dramatic demonstration stopped tourists in their tracks at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in late August 2015: a group of young protesters clambered atop the famous monument and unfurled a black banner with the words “Secure Borders Secure Future.” These were activists from the Identitarian Movement (IB), a reactionary youth movement on the rise across Europe.
It was a watershed moment for the IB in Germany. Much of their campaign until that point had been waged on social media and online forums. This was their biggest public splash – and it worked. Images of the activists atop the Brandenburg Gate rippled across German media, thrusting the Identitarians into the spotlight.