T. Sends His Thanks!

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You’ll recall that a little while ago we heard about T., an antifascist in Toronto that had bizarrely been charged by the cops after he was assaulted by an Islamophobe.  Of course, we sent him some money to help with his legal defence and mitigate the losses he’s incurred as a result of being charged.

T. was nice enough to send us a thank-you note.  If you’ve made a donation to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund, this is for you:

“On March 4th, I was falsely accused of assaulting a hateful bigot who stood shoulder to shoulder with members nearly every white supremacist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic organization in Southern Ontario in an attempt to garner support for their bilious politics. As a lifelong Toronto boy, I have a deep love for all the people of this wonderful city, no matter where they come from, and it makes me sad and upset that bigots exist who seek to demonize and exclude people based on their culture or beliefs.

The racists were heavily outnumbered by the good people of this proudly diverse city, but that didn’t stop them from behaving aggressively. I did not hit, punch, or otherwise assault the man who was able to press charges against me, but due to the byzantine workings of our city’s backlogged criminal justice system I have been slotted into what will likely be a year-long process of hearings, meetings with lawyers, and potentially a trial. The missed days of work for attending court and legal fees have put me in an even more precarious position than is the norm for a young working class person, and I cannot express enough how relieved I was to learn of the International Antifascist Defense Fund and receive financial assistance for my case. 
It is imperative that racists and their ilk be prevented from growing as a force in society. But, as we confront them it is equally imperative that we build up networks of solidarity and mutual aid that will help us measure up to the challenges of the day.   The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has been tremendously supportive to me, and I sincerely thank all the comrades worldwide who help sustain the Defense Fund. Solidarity is our best weapon, and our best defense. No pasaran!

Contributing to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund enables us to help T. and the dozens and dozens of other anti-fascists and anti-racists we’ve supported over the last two years.  We can only continue to do this with your support.  Please make a donation today.

Standing Your Ground In Los Angeles

33cb3c4c00000578-3571113-image-a-32_1462287610188(Tess Asplund doing what anyone of good conscience would do when racists are marching through town).

When Tess Asplund single-handedly stood against a march of 300 neo-nazis in Borlänge, Sweden a  year ago, she received worldwide praise for her courage to confront the cowardly clowns.

Fast-forward one year later, when Los Angeleno J. was walking down Hollywood Boulevard when he came face-to-face with a group of over 100 racists marching down the middle of the street.  “Honestly, what went through my mind the whole time, was these racists cannot march down Hollywood in Los Angeles, without anyone challenging them,” J. said.  In a move very much like Tess Asplund’s, he took it upon himself to become a one-person counter-demonstration.  But unlike what happened to Ms. Asplund, J. was physically attacked by three marchers and then promptly arrested by the police, who shook one of the assailant’s hand afterwards.  For exercising his free speech rights, J. received trumped-up felony charges and bail set at $20,000.

We’re happy that Ms. Asplund didn’t run into similar troubles when she took a stand against hate, but The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund would be there for her if she had.  So of course we were happy to lend some support to J.

J. sent us a thank-you note shortly after: “Thanx to all for this needed and necessary comradeship and this international working class act of solidarity.  It’s one and the same struggle everywhere no matter who what when or where.”

From Borlänge to L.A., literally standing up to hate is not a crime!

 

 

Defending Against The Dover Witchhunt

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(antifa on the ground in Dover, 31 January 2016)

It must’ve been embarrassing for Dover coppers to lose control of the situation a year-and-a-half ago when they tried to respond to racist extremists marching in the streets by kettling anti-fascists there to stop the fash.  That didn’t work out so well and the coppers were left with egg on their faces as area antifa worked their way around them and went on to confront & prevent the bigots from running amok as best they could.

Not ones to use a humiliating situation like this to learn anything, the coppers have instead wasted taxpayer money on a months-long witchhunt to prosecute persecute the antifascists that had given them the slip on that day.

Which brings us to our friend from Kent.

Eleven months after the fact and just a few days prior to Christmas, our friend had his door kicked in by the coppers, who charged him with violent disorder.  The resulting prison time he’s been made to serve has put his family in dire straits.

When the Kent Anti-Racism Network contacted us about their mate’s plight, we were happy to kick in a few quid to help him and his family while he’s at her majesty’s pleasure.

Decisions, Decisions

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The International Anti-Fascist Defence’s Fund‘s Decisions Crew are the 300+ people in 18 different countries (so far!) that have to make the call on requests the Fund receives.  Recently, the Crew had to say no to one request and yes to another.  Here’s how that looked:

Last month, the Decisions Crew said no to a proposal to donate to a crowdfunding page purported to be backing Louise, an antifascist assaulted by Nathan Damigo – a white supremacist with a criminal record of violent hate crimes.  It was not so much that we had doubts about Louise’s situation, but we had doubts about the crowdfunding page itself.  Specifically, we were unable to verify who set the page up or if they had any connection to Louise at all.  It would be irresponsible for the Defence Fund to contribute to every crowdfunding campaign that claims to be in support of anti-fascists without verifying if that is actually the case.  In fact, one of the reasons the Defence Fund was established in the first place was to provide a verifiable way for people to materially support anti-fascists in trouble.  Unlike anonymous crowdfunding campaigns, the Defence Fund has been endorsed by three different anti-fascist networks;  has a clear, democratic decision-making process in place; and reports regularly on its activities.

But we digress!  In the end, Louise appears to have received the support she needed by others and the mysterious crowdfunding campaign changed its goal to funding an app to help with labor organizing – certainly laudable, but also beyond the mandate of the Defence Fund.

Then earlier this month, the Defence Fund decided via consensus to lend support to T., a Toronto-based anti-fascist that was physically-assaulted on March 4th by Islamophobes when he went to counter their hate rally at city hall.  Adding insult to injury, police charged T. with the attack, putting his volunteer work as a tutor at-risk!  T.  has had to miss some work for court stuff and will likely have to pay a lawyer to get this mess settled, so we were happy to send him some money to help with that.

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is here to help anti-fascists & anti-racists wherever they are whenever they’ve run into trouble as a result of their stand against bigotry and hatred.  As long as we can verify the legitimacy of a request, it’s very likely to be supported.

 

Backing Benji

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On April 18th, 2017, Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist leaderlittle rich boy human punching bag of the “Alt-Right,” gave a talk at Auburn University in Alabama and was protested by students and anti-racists.

Two anti-racists were arrested outside Foy Hall on campus, following an altercation which began when a League of the South LOSer (a secessionist/white nationalist organization) launched an attack.  Benji, a musican and active member of the Birmingham arts community, was one of them and now has court and legal expenses to look forward to.

Using The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund‘s resources to help Benji deal with those expenses was a no-brainer.  The only real concern we had was whether or not the crowdfunding page set up to support Benji was legit, but we were soon able to confirm that with the help of Atlanta Antifascists (thanks!).  We encourage all antifascists to stand with Benji and donate to Benji’s legal defence (as well as, um, you know, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund!).

Never Let Them Have Esther Short Park!

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(Above: Vancouver, WA. antifa assemble to confront a mixed-bag of bigots on April 2nd, 2017)

When America elects a fascist as president, fascists come out of the woodwork to attempt to build a mass movement of Nazi-like street thugs to support his efforts, not unlike Hitler’s Sturmabteilung.  And just like 1930s Germany, we are now seeing more frequent and blatant collaboration between these racist paramilitaries and the police.

For example, take the events at a Trump support rally in a park in Vancouver, Washington on April 2nd.  In a blatant display of the old adage “cops and the Klan go hand-in-hand,” members of the racist 3% militia gleefully worked alongside cops in Vancouver, WA. to point out antifascists they’d like arrested for the crime of confronting and disrupting their mini-Nuremberg rally.  The cops were practically falling over themselves to arrest whoever the fascists didn’t like the looks of on trumped-up (pun intended!) non-violent misdemeanors.

All the antifa arrestees were released on bail and now must defend themselves on these bullshit charges.  The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was happy to kick in to their legal defence crowdfunder.  We encourage all anti-fascists, as well as all of those concerned with the police acting as lethally-armed goons doing the bidding of racist extremists, or those who think that public protest is a right and not a crime, to contribute as well.

Yes/No

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(Taras)

Another week at The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund = another round of tough decisions for our 380+ member Decisions Crew to make.  You’ve already read about us pitching in to help out our friends in Berkeley; now we’re reporting on the two other requests for help we reached decisions about this week.

No – while we whole-heartedly support Black Lives Matter activist Muhiyidin’s amazing leap & snatch maneuver when confronted by two racist trolls and their oversized confederate flag,  we decided to not contribute to his legal defence fund for the sole reason that his crowdfunding page had maxed out while we were discussing the request.  In the end, we felt like it was more important to save the money that’s been donated to the Defence Fund to help other anti-fascists that don’t have the kind of support that Muhiyidin clearly has.  Which segues nicely into…

Yes –  Taras is a well-known anarchist and anti-fascist in Kiev, Ukraine.  In a situation eerily-reminiscent of what happened to Jock Palfreeman in Bulgaria, Taras encountered a mob of racist Right Sector/Azov Battalion goons harassing and threatening a group of foreign tourists.  After intervening to protect the foreigners, Taras was attacked and badly injured, nearly losing one of his fingers.  Literally adding insult to injury, the Kiev cops wound up charging only Taras, for allegedly stabbing one of the 20-30 boneheads that attacked him.

While there are both American and European crowdfunding pages up for Taras, neither had come anywhere near to reaching their goals when we stepped in to contribute to helping him.  Forza, Taras – we stand with you!

If you’re keeping track, you’ll note that in just the last six weeks the Defence Fund has donated more than $7000USD to anti-fascists and anti-racists in four different countries because they needed our help.  If our support continues to be needed at the same rate, we’ll be broke and unable to help anyone before June.  Please, if you’re considering making a donation to the Defence Fund, your help is needed now more than ever!  Show that international anti-fascist solidarity means something – donate today!

We Back Berkeley!

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It’s getting pretty real out there in Berkeley.  On March 4th at a so-called Trump support rally, fascists rolled up with body armor, shields, baseball bats, 2x4s, bear mace, bricks, and knives and from the jump started wading into the counterprotest to target women, racialized people, trans people, etc. for physical attacks.

Berkeley antifa were not having it!  They did what they had to do to defend themselves and their community from a series of rapidly-escalating assaults by well-armed thugs.  Of course the police, who did sweet FA to prevent people from being assaulted, were quick to arrest seven antifa.  Now we are being asked to help our brothers and sisters with the legal costs related to these arrests via this crowdfunding pageThe International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was happy to heed the call – will you?

A Racist Walks Into A Bar…

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…in Olathe, Kansas. He spots two off-duty engineers sitting quietly at their table. Both men are 32 years old. Both men are from India. He begins loudly insulting them, yelling at them to “get out of my country!” He pulls out a pistol and starts shooting at them, killing one and wounding the other.

As soon as the racist terrorist fires his first shots, another patron in the bar tries to intervene.  “It wasn’t right, and I didn’t want the gentleman to potentially go after somebody else,” he’ll say from his hospital bed, after he, too, is shot by the racist.

Crowdfunding campaigns sprout up to help the victims of this racist terrorist act.  One for the dead man’s family; one for his injured friend; and one for the Good Samaritan that was also injured.  Donations flood in and all three crowdfunders greatly exceed their initial targets.

And there is where The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund comes in;  we were asked to make a contribution to each of the crowdfunding campaigns for each of the victims.  We discussed this for about a week, could not come to a consensus about what to do, and then took another week to vote on the various options that had come out of our discussion.

The difficulty we had boiled down to two key questions:

1) Should the Defence Fund support the victims of fascism and racism or limit itself to supporting those that actively fight fascism and racism?

2) If there is a situation that warrants the Defence Fund’s support but more-than-enough support has already been provided, should the Defence Fund still kick in money, even as a token gesture of solidarity?

In the end, the vote was to not make a contribution to any of the crowdfunding campaigns that came out of this horrifying, tragic act of racist terrorism.  While we absolutely sympathize and stand in solidarity with the victims of racist violence, the Defence Fund is just too small to be effective at providing relief to those victims and must concentrate instead on supporting active anti-fascists and anti-racists.

While we see the man that tried to stop the racist terrorist from murdering people in the bar as engaging in anti-fascist/anti-racist work of the upmost importance and while we salute his courage, we also think it’s our responsibility to use the donations the Defence Fund  receives as effectively as possible.  If an anti-fascist/anti-racist is being more-than-adequately supported by their community, then it would be better for the Defence Fund to save its funds to be used to support another anti-fascist/anti-racist who isn’t fortunate enough to have that level of support instead of making a donation that would amount to a token gesture.  That was the case here, so in the end the Defence Fund decided to applaud his heroic actions but hold on to our funds to help someone else who frankly will need the help more.

We probably will have to spend that money shortly, as the Defence Fund’s “Decisions Crew” (the 380+ people around the world that discuss and ultimately decide what to do when we receive requests for support) is currently looking at three other requests for help.  When you add those to the 24 other anti-fascists we’ve been asked to back up in the last month alone, the importance of the Defence Fund is clearer than ever.  We need you to help us back up our friends around the world who aren’t afraid to stand up to bigotry.  Please make a donation to the Defence Fund today!

 

 

 

 

We Got His Back!

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Luke is a long-time, well-known, and widely-respected anti-fascist from Oregon.  In 2010, Luke was the victim of a targeted shooting, ambushed by neo-nazi filth.  He survived the shooting but was paralyzed as a result and has been in a wheelchair ever since.

A mere mortal might let a situation like this get him down or use it as a reasonable excuse to wind down his political activities.  But not Luke!  He remains an intregral part of the antifa scene in the Pacific North West.

Luke has now learned of doctors in Germany that may be able to alleviate his current medical condition to a large extent, but of course needs to come up with $20,000 for the surgery + travel & accommodation costs.  The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was honored to be able to lend support to such a long-standard, stalwart anti-fascist and we want to do everything we can to make sure he gets the medical care he needs.  You can help us by donating directly to Luke’s crowdfunding campaign.  You can also help make sure we’re ready & able to help when people like Luke ask for our help by making a donation to The Defence Fund as well.

Luke – we hope the doctors are near Millerntor-Stadion and you can bring some Timbers flavor to a St. Pauli match while you’re there!