We didn’t know what to expect when we established The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund in June 2015 but we were tired of anti-fascists and anti-racists getting hurt, imprisoned, having their property destroyed, and even being killed and not being able to help them. Over the last year, we’ve received donations from all over the world; set up a global committee of more than forty anti-fascists who decide how to use our resources; and, most importantly, we’ve helped out four dozen anti-racists in ten countries. Here is our first annual report:
By The Numbers
(all figures in U.S. dollars)
- 48 anti-fascists & anti-racists in ten different countries received help from the Defence Fund, totaling more than $1700:
- Twenty in the U.S.
- Sixteen in Sweden
- Four in Germany
- Two in France
- One each in Australia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, and Spain
- 80% of the contributions covered legal defence, court costs, fines, and prisoner support;
10% covered medical bills and injury recovery;
5% covered damage to property;
5% helped to pay funeral expenses.
- 45 people in seven countries are currently on the Defence Fund’s decisions crew – the people who discuss and make decisions about proposals and requests. Any individual or group that donates at least $20 to the Fund is invited to join the decisions crew.
What We’ve Learned
Over the past year the need for this Defence Fund has been made absolutely clear. Based on the cases we looked at, it takes about $4500 on-average to repair the damage done to the lives of an anti-fascist/anti-racist when they’ve been arrested, physically injured, or had their property destroyed because of their work against hatred. Most are able to raise around 70% of that on their own or with the help of their friends & allies, leaving an typical shortfall of about $1350 to come up with. If its first year is any indication, the Defence Fund would need to raise $27,000 annually just to cover that gap. This might sound unrealistic, but don’t forget that in just a few days people all over the world donated over $30,000 to help out their friends in Anaheim who were arrested and/or injured in a confrontation with the KKK!
There are some real advantages to supporting the Defence Fund. Unlike anonymous crowdfunding pages raising money for specific incidents, the Defence Fund is made available to any anti-fascist or anti-racist in trouble; has a proven track record and a clear, democratic decision-making structure in place; and has been endorsed by three different anti-fascist/anti-racist networks. Money is ready to go and usually goes to the people who need it within two weeks. The Fund reports on every contribution it makes to anti-fascists in need on its blog in addition to posting quarterly and annual reports about its activities, accessible to anyone.
How You Can Help
The Fund relies completely on donations from people who support the struggle against hate. Obviously, we’d like every anti-fascist and anti-racist in the world to give what they can to the Fund.
- The best way is to pledge a monthly recurring donation via our Patreon account. If 225 supporters pledged just $10/month there, we would be able to donate $27,000 every year to antifa in trouble. Even $1/month adds up!
- We’re also happy to accept one-time donations of any amount via our crowdfunding page (where you can also see some of the rewards we are offering supporters) and directly through Paypal. We offer some pretty nice rewards for donations!
- If you’d like to donate to the Fund but don’t want to use those options, you can email us and we can discuss other ways to do it: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you’re unable to donate yourself or raise money for the Fund in your community, you can still help us spread the word. Share the link to our crowdfunding page; share posts from our blog; print out and distribute flyers about the Fund!
We are looking forward to our second year of supporting anti-fascists and anti-racists around the world, with your help and participation!