When Is Anti-Fascism Anti-Fascism?

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The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was established “to provide immediate support to anti-fascists and anti-racists anywhere in the world, whenever they found themselves in a difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate.”   The question faced by the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew recently was when does an action = an anti-fascist/anti-racist action?

We received requests for support from two individuals that had been charged with a) vandalizing a Donald Trump golf course; b) spray-painting the slogan “Your Heroes Murder” on a Vietnam War memorial and two police cars.  This lead to a lively discussion in the Decisions Crew about whether these actions were specifically anti-fascist/anti-racist enough to warrant tapping the Defence Fund.

On one hand, it was argued that these acts were acts of solidarity with marginalized groups that are underrepresented and under protected in an area with a long history of white supremacist activity.  But on the other hand, it was counter-argued that these acts were not specific enough to antifa activity and seemed more aligned with broader political objectives (e.g. anarchist/anti-war/anti-police).

In the end, we could not reach consensus and had to make the call via majority vote, with the majority of Decisions Crew members voting against.  It was a tough call, but it was also a good and important discussion.

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