This past summer proved to be the busiest three months for the Defence Fund since its inception. In June & July alone we received requests to help eighteen different anti-fascists/anti-racists in Belarus, Poland, and the U.S. and donated over $1000 to them – the most ever donated by the Defence Fund in one quarter. You can read about all of them on our blog.
Aside from the bad news of more people than ever before needing help, there was two bits of good news, though! Firstly, and thanks largely to our decision to print & sell anti-fascist/anti-racist stickers as a fundraiser, we raised more money for the Defence Fund this quarter than ever before. Unfortunately, it was still a bit less than what we gave out in support of anti-fascists/anti-racists in the same time period, but was still very encouraging. We hope that soon we are able to raise enough money to cover the amount of money we’ve given out in support, with maybe a little bit saved up for the next call for help we get (you can help us get there!).
The other good news is about what happened from mid-July to the end of August: not terribly much. After mid-July we did not receive any requests for support until the tail-end of August, which is probably the longest period of time we’ve gone without getting a request since the Defence Fund was established.
Since most of our requests happen as a result of opposition to racist events, this drop in requests for help may be coinciding with a decline in public activity by racists. It did seem that there were fewer racist rallies and marches going on in the last half of the summer. If that is true, it could be because bigots are now focusing their efforts on political gains they’re making through the electoral system (e.g. Brexit in the UK or Trump’s candidacy in the U.S.). Or it could be because they’re tired of fewer and fewer of them crawling out from under their rocks only to be smashed by more and more antifa. Here’s hoping it’s the latter!