Active in 13 countries across Europe and North America, “Generation Identity” have already staged half a dozen public actions in Belfast since August last year.
Last weekend, several far-right demonstrators were pictured at the “Free Tommy Robinson” rally in front of City Hall giving Nazi salutes - and in the crowd next to them flew the distinctive flag of Generation Identity.
The group has since said the man giving the salute was not a GI member and was doing so in response to being called a Nazi.
“This is typical for the media to use dirty tactics and deceit to paint all patriotic attendees with the same brush,” the group wrote on their website.
“[Neo-Nazi] is a term Generation Identity vehemently rejects. We have on numerous occasions outlined how our group does not provide a platform for Nazi or fascist views.”
The group said one of their former members had previously been a member of a proscribed organisation, but was ‘let go’ when this came to light.
GI believe in ‘ethnopluralism’ and ‘remigration’, ideas advocacy group Hope Not Hate has branded “far more extreme and race-based than anything posited by groups like the English Defence League (EDL)”.
Ethnopluarlism dictates that different ethnic groups ought to live in separation from one another out of respect for their “right to difference”.
‘Remigration’ refers to the physical repatriation of any illegal immigrants to their country of origin.
According to Hope not Hate, GI’s current crop of activists, thought to be less than 100 in the UK and Ireland but into the thousands across Europe, are drawn from a range of organisations across Britain’s far-right.
These include the now-proscribed neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action, a member of whom last week admitted plotting to kill a Labour MP and threatening to kill a police detective investigating him for child grooming.
One of GI’s most notable actions was its “Defend Europe” mission, which managed to raise tens of thousands of euro to buy a ship to block refugee vessels carrying migrants across the Mediterranean in the summer of 2017.
In January, the group held their first “new activists meeting” in Belfast, followed by a full conference in March and further meetings.
Other controversial actions carried out by GI in England include having an activist dress up as London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, accompanied by people in niqabs, walk around Westminster Abbey asking people to sign a petition to “ban Christmas”.
They have also been pictured handing out “warm pork suppers” to homeless people with a view to excluding Muslims.