Shy Society has reported in detail on the politically motivated and high-profile bans from entry into the UK that have recently been given to American YouTubers Lauren Southern and Brittany Pettibone as well as Abel Bodi and Martin Sellner, leaders of Generation Identity (GI).
But it may have escaped your notice that the lesser known figure of Tore Rasmussen, who played a key role in kickstarting GI’s UK branch, was also stopped from entering Britain at the start of May. We recently sat down with the Norwegian and spoke at length about his journey from the political fringe to the forefront of the identitarian cause, what it’s like to be detained as a political dissident, recent accusations made by the mainstream press against GI and much more…
Your prohibition has escaped wider attention. Why did the Home Office ban you from entering the UK?
The main reason I was denied entry into the UK was my involvement with Generation Identity and especially my role as chairman at the Generation European Reunion conference in Kent on 14th April. When I was stopped at Gatwick Airport, the justification was that I held beliefs and values that are dangerous to British society. I find this a bit absurd as ISIS fighters are welcomed back but I, who joined GI exactly because it is explicitly non-violent, am not.
GI is a non-chauvinistic movement that only wants to halt mass immigration, stop and reverse Islamisation and oppose globalisation. I’m sure that these are ideas that are shared with a big proportion of the native UK population. However, the political situation in the UK is much worse than what I believed when I moved to London in December 2017. The cover-up and silence in the media regarding Pakistani grooming gangs, the acid attacks and the general failure of multiculturalism have led to a situation where the media and political elites can’t even discuss these topics.
The British people have been lied to for so long that the globalists fear a political earthquake if there was to be a free and open debate about these issues – that is the real reason why I was denied entry to the UK.
Talk us through the detention and questioning process, what was it like?
The detention process itself was actually not that bad. When I was going through passport control it was obvious that my passport was flagged. I was asked to come with border guards to a backroom where I was given a microwave meal while I waited to be interviewed, I think the waiting was no longer than one hour.
The interview itself was just a formality, I don’t think there was anything I could have said at that point that would have changed their preconceptions. I was honest and confirmed that I was active in GI and that was all they were interested in. I have never been in a situation where a loosely defined law has been arbitrarily used against me. If you had told me this would happen to me in the UK – the great exporter of Western liberties – 10 years ago I would never have believed you.
What do you make of the state of free speech in Europe today and what do you feel is the intrinsic value of free speech?
It has been years since I heard anyone say the expression: “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I think that is a shame and very telling. I think the real downward spiral started with the Muhammad cartoons controversy in 2005 when most of the establishment media and political leaders in Western Europe refused to take a clear stand for freedom of speech. Since then more and more countries in Europe have moved towards not offending religious feelings and prioritising this fear of offending above speaking freely.
On top of this we now see that countries like Germany also have outscored their enforcement of free speech to the big social media companies, giving them a fine if “hate speech” is not deleted within 24 hours. The social media companies naturally enforce this new regulation strictly, since they have no incentive for not deleting any statement that some might find to be offensive.
Please tell our readers how you first became politically active and what led you to your current political orientation?
For me it has been three distinct phases. First when I was 13-years-old I got introduced to what best can be described as extremist ideas. And when I was 17, I joined a national socialist group in Norway called Vigrid. I was a teenager and took my youthful rebellion way too far. With a mother on the left side of politics, joining Antifa would just not do it. I have clearly distanced myself from this dark chapter in my past many years ago and when I later joined the centre-right youth party in Norway, Unge Høyre, and later the Liberal People’s Party (DLF) both parties were aware of my background and had no problem with it, since they believed that I genuinely had had a change of heart.
I’m sure there are many people in the UK who also have an embarrassing feeling regarding being a member of an extreme political party in their youth, and wish they had engaged in the conservative party instead. Unfortunately, it was taboo to criticise multiculturalism in the 90s, which opened the way for extremist fringe groups to hijack the debate.
In the 1970s, many in today’s cultural elite in Norway, and I am sure also in the UK, supported communist groups. However, this past should not restrain these people from being part of political debate today. Those who were communists in the 1970s should not be assumed to have the same thinking as they had back then, even though they are still active on the left side of politics. I have at least admitted that I was wrong.
We cannot have a situation where some sins are forgiven or not mentioned at all, while others will be branded forever for their sins in their youth. It would be detrimental to democracy and lead to a society we do not want.
Have your views on race shifted following this experience or were they not fully formed when you were on this extreme fringe?
The problem with extremist groups is that they dehumanise whomever they define as the enemy, we see this with the racial hatred against the Jews from old national socialist groups and Muslim extremists. Also, from the so-called tolerant left, where they proclaim on billboards that they will hunt down and stop conferences held by people they arbitrarily define as fascists.
I find it sad when the far-left try to demonise people they disagree with by defining them as racists – I know what racial hatred really is and it is not pretty. By misusing the terms racist and Islamophobia, the far-left is not doing minorities or Muslims any favours. I think it is important to have a free and open debate about racism and discrimination, but we must also talk about racism against native Europeans or the debate itself becomes racist.
Getting back to GI, the mainstream media call you “posh, middle-class youth” who are trying to make fascism acceptable. Are they right?
All over Europe GI are labelled right-wing hipsters by the media. Now it looks like journalists in the UK are trying and make it a class thing. It’s just not true. Our members are representative of all Brits, we have members from the working-class, the middle-class and everyone in between. We have both young men and women amongst our activists, and older concerned citizens that help out with donations. This is one of the reasons the far-left is so afraid of Generation Identity – we consist of the average population, we are not a fringe group that the media easily can demonise.
I take the fascism accusations with great calm. The clever operators in the mass media understand they can’t call us racist or Nazis, since that would not be plausible in the eyes of public. Instead they use the term fascist which has a much broader definition and is less defined. The word ‘fascist’ is used to try and convince the public that we hold unconscionable opinions. This is propaganda and dishonesty but also intellectual laziness. Some journalists might actually not know that we are a part of the tradition of the French new right that denounces both racism, globalism and imperialism on one side and promotes the right for the peoples of Europe to protect their ethnocultural identity on the other side.
What are your hopes for GI and how will you be working to assist the movement following your ban from the UK?
I believe the UK political situation has both a big downside and a big upside. Not having a clear patriotic political alternative makes UK maybe the one country in Europe where the political class and the people have the biggest divide and where Theresa May can continue her war on free speech, betray the people’s vote on Brexit and push for mass immigration without any real political opposition. The demographic situation is also severe, Brits are being outnumbered in the streets and also at the polls as Labour have betrayed the British and chosen to ally themselves with settlers.
On the flip side, this blatant disrespect for the British people provides a real chance for a surge in popularity for a patriotic party. There is also a vibrant alternative media that I believe will continue to grow as the mainstream media continues to lie. We have also seen that there are real men within the football lads who lead the way with demonstrations and free speech events, if only the middle-class would wake up and join them I believe Britain has a fighting chance.
In this political situation, GI can play a crucial role in by forcing the politicians and media to talk about the demographic shift, what we call ‘The Great Replacement’. Furthermore, because of all the controversy with our speakers being banned, Generation Identity will continue to push the free speech debate. Lastly, we want to bring people together as we bridge the old class divide and stay out of many of the old conflicts that divided the right earlier, as we only focus on three things: stopping and reversing mass immigration, Islamisation and globalisation.
Personally, I am currently based in the Republic of Ireland and will continue my work from here. If anything, refusing me entry to the UK has only made me more determined.
Tore Rasmussen was speaking exclusively to English Adam for Shy Society.
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain