Not sure where that whole month went – one minute we’re posting our annual report and the next minute it’s the Fourth of July! Here’s what The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has been dealing with over the last month or so:
1) Portland. If you’re reading this blog you’re probably also familiar with the incident in Portland where a white supremacist, verbally abusing two teenaged Muslim girls on public transit, expressed his objections to bystanders asking him to stop doing so by stabbing three of them, killing two and hospitalizing a third. This seems like exactly the kind of thing the Defence Fund was set up for. Except when you factor in how well-publicized and well-supported the Portland anti-Islamophia Good Samaritans were. Within days no fewer than five different crowdfunding campaigns were set up and by the time we got to our decision those campaigns had collectively raised $1.5 million for the three intervenors + two victims of the initial verbal threats.
In the end, we decided that it’d be better for us to save the little we have in the Defence Fund for anti-fascists and anti-racists whose circumstances were not as well-publicized or supported. Which segues nicely to:
2) Harrisburg. The problem with confronting fascists is that their big buddies the cops will intervene to arrest or harm you, usually before your efforts can amount to anything. This was the case for a friend from Philly, who went to Harrisburg to confront an Islamophobia rally only to be shoved by one cop back into a police horse, which was all the excuse the cops needed to lay no less than five separate charges, including assault on a police horse! Bail was set obscenely high and so our pal was compelled to rely on support from other anti-fascists, which the Defence Fund was happy to contribute to.
We also received a few other requests for support but were either unable to confirm the circumstances of the case or a verifiable way to deliver material support to the person(s) in question. Some of those we are still pursuing though + there is another proposal that we should reach a decision on this week, so stay tuned!