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.
(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!
(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.
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.