The Damage Done

20180606-az-salzwedelbb1185-image

AZ Kim Hubert community centre, Salzwedel, Germany

The AZ Kim Hubert community centre in the small town of Salzwedel, Germany is probably not one you’ve heard of before.  Like many anarchist-run community centres, they offer a variety of programs and support as well as a physical base for anti-fascists to plan actions from.  All of this also means they’ve been a regular target for local neo-nazis to attack.

In the latest attack, a gang of 10 or more masked neo-nazis forced their way into the building in the middle of the night earlier this month.  Armed with crowbars, hatchets, and pepper spray, they made their way to the second floor where they attacked several people sleeping there, then proceeded to trash everything in sight before detonating a smoke bomb to mask their escape.

It’s very clear that the neo-nazis in Salzwedel regard AZ Kim Hubert as a direct threat to their genocidal plans.   It’s very clear that the neo-nazis in Salzwedel would like the people running AZ Kim Hubert to just give up and close it down.

Instead, AZ Kim Hubert is receiving support and solidarity not just from the good people of Salzwedel, but internationally.  It is in that spirit that The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is making a contribution directly to the centre to help them repair the damage and fortify their building.

If you’d like to help out AZ Kim Hubert as well, here is some information about donating directly to them.  If you’d like to ensure that The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is able to help the next community centre under fascist attack, here’s some information about donating to us.

Advertisements

Broken Eggs & Broken Windows

30359130_15281120600_r

Martin F.  We feel your frustration.

As the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.  Maybe you can’t effectively oppose Islamophobes terrorizing your town without breaking a few eggs, either.  That may or may not be the lesson Martin F. learned recently.  Martin is an anti-fascist in Frankfurt, Germany who participated in a counter-demonstration against Pegida in 2015.  On his way home from that successful counter-demo, Martin was arrested by police who charged him with throwing an egg at Pegida.

While Martin denies throwing the egg in question, and while police testimony revealed that the offending egg did not actually hit anyone, the state refused to drop the charges and dragged Martin through a three-year legal odyssey, claiming that the egg “could have caused an injury” to someone and that throwing an egg in the direction of an Islamophobic mob was “not only directed against the personal physical integrity of an individual, but at the same time constitutes an attack on the constitutionally-protected freedom of assembly.”

Remember: we’re talking about an egg being thrown.  Which hit no one.

And so Martin was found guilty of this heinous crime and now has to contend with court fines and legal defence fees.  Martin’s comrades have set up a crowdfunding page to help him pay off these debts, which amount to €5243.  That’s right, €5243.  For throwing an egg.  Which hit no one.  Which Martin didn’t do, anyway.

Meanwhile, residents over in Cottage Grove, OR, have been very upset about a violent gang of white supremacists opening up a weapons shop in their town.  Someone seems to have expressed their displeasure by smashing out the shop’s windows.

d5f1ca02d2556f98b184dbc7f434d17a

No windows for fascists!  Wolfclan Armory post-antifa renovations.

Police arrested one woman for this attempt to add natural air conditioning to the shop and – incredibly – locked her up in the same jail as one of the store’s owners (who is currently awaiting trial for stabbing a fellow neo-nazi).  More incredibly, they’re charging her with a hate crime!  Yes, you read that correctly, being accused of an act of vandalism against white supremacists is a hate crime in Oregon.  That makes perfect sense.

As with Martin F., her comrades have also set up a crowdfunder to help raise an effective legal defence against her charges.

If you agree with us that both these cases were completely absurd and law enforcement’s zeal for persecuting ant-fascists makes a mockery of the values they claim to uphold, then we hope you’ll follow our example and make contributions to both crowdfunders as well.  If you want to make sure that anti-fascists always have the resources they need when the state dreams up more hypocritical absurdities to charge us with, then we hope you’ll be making a donation to Defence Fund today!

From Russia With Love

DQPFFkhXcAECYwh

It’s no secret that the Russian state has been targeting Russian anti-fascists in recent months.  Since the fall, Russian state agents have kidnapped and tortured several anti-fascists and anarchists in an attempt to fabricate a “terror network” to justify more kidnappings, torture, and repression.  This is entirely unsurprising in a state where those same actors are alleged to have deliberately bombed an apartment complex in a false flag operation used to justify a crackdown on human rights in Russia.

On the ground, this has meant that life is tougher than ever before for Russian antifa, who’ve never had it easy to start with.  It is in this context that we received a request for support from two Russian anti-fascists whose close friends had been kidnapped and tortured by the FSB (the successor agency to the KGB).  Shortly after this, the two of them noticed that they were being surveilled by the state wherever they went.  Then came the harassing phone calls from unknown callers.

Not wishing to hang around and see when FSB goons would force them into a car and “disappear” them, our two friends decided to flee to another country.  While there, contacts inside Russia told them that the FSB had been interrogating associates about them.  Their temporary home in another country now looks to be where they will not be seeking permanent refuge.

The two anti-fascists requested support for basic living expenses and to take care of some outstanding medical conditions they were being treated for in Russia but do not qualify to receive paid treatment for in their host country (so much for the old racist lie about refugees getting everything for free!).  There was some discussion about this; given that the medical conditions weren’t a consequence of anti-fascist action, some members of the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew were questioning the appropriateness of providing assistance.  But in the end, a large majority agreed that were it not for the fact that they were forced to flee their home due to a legitimate fear of persecution because of their anti-fascist activities, their medical conditions would’ve been treated in Russia.  Therefore, it made sense to send them some support so they can stay healthy and safe in their new home, which we did.

We wish our friends удачи!

 

 

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund: 2017-2018 Annual Report

intlantifadefence

To be honest, a lot of anti-fascists weren’t sure if any of us were going to survive the onslaught of fascist extremism and violence that communities all around the world were subjected to in 2017.  We lost several committed anti-fascists to horrific levels of bigoted violence and terrorism (as we write this almost exactly a year after an alt-right white supremacist stabbed two men to death in Portland for coming to the aid of two Muslim girls the bigot was harassing).  For every anti-fascist that fell in 2017-2018, dozens more were terribly injured; for every antifa injured, dozens more were arbitrarily arrested by the fascists’ enforcers/protecters – the police (more on them in a moment!).

For The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund, this meant that our third year of operation was one when more than ever, anti-fascists from all over the world depended on us to help them out of difficult and potentially life-altering or life-ending circumstances.  Here’s what we did to help over the last twelve months:

  • We donated over $21,000USD to 242 anti-fascists.  This was 40% more monetary support to anti-fascists than the year before.  The number of anti-fascists and anti-racists we were able to provide material aid to tripled from the previous year.  This support was truly international and went to help antifa in nine countries:
    • 228 in the United States
    • Four in Canada
    • Three in Germany
    • Two in France
    • Two in the UK
    • One each in Austria, Finland, Poland, and Rojava
  • 87% of the contributions covered legal defence, court costs, fines, and prisoner support; 12% of contributions covered medical bills, injury recovery and living costs while antifa dealt with injuries sustained in attacks against them; 1 % of contributions covered emergency relocation or to support the family of antifa imprisoned or murdered.meta-chart
  • The Defence Fund‘s Decisions Crew (the body that discusses and decides on what support to give requests or proposals received) grew 41% to include 581 antifa from 17 different countries.

Some interesting developments from our work supporting & defending anti-fascists came out over the last year:

There is no question that over the last three years The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has established itself as the most credible and trustworthy way to provide support to anti-fascists and anti-racists internationally, just as there is no question that the need to stick together and have each other’s back is greater than it’s been in decades.  If you support the goals of anti-fascism; if you believe in opposing bigotry, discrimination, and hatred, then you really should be supporting the work the Defence Fund does.  Start by signing up to become a monthly donor, or by making a one-time donation, or by printing out and sharing our flyer, or by holding a fundraiser, or by sharing this post.  Don’t wait because right now there someone somewhere who can’t wait for the help they need.

 

June 2018 – Quarterly Report

Gays-Against-Sharia-protest-5

We have been quite busy over the last three months here at The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund.  Here’s what we got up to:

We also received good news from our friends in Austin who were arrested two years ago for defending their campus against fascist interlopers – after a two-year legal battle, all their charges were dropped!  They wrote us to say “we want to especially thank those who donated to their legal funds. Without such generous donations, we would not have been able to afford their legal team. We can’t say enough how much countrywide and international solidarity means for the comrades here in Austin who face decades of prison time between them all. We will continue to fight, we will continue to win, and we will never apologize for our politics, nor will we dial them back in fear of repression.”

Over in Sweden, Joel also wrote to thank us for supporting him, saying “many thanks to everyone who contributed to the free Joel campaign, everyone who wrote letters and sent in stuff. Thank you to all the groups who supported and spread the word, above all thanks to AFA Stockholm and an even bigger thank you to fånggruppen  Stockholm…don’t forget that it’s never possible to live on old merit, class is ongoing. Organize yourself!”

There was one request that the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew – the body of nearly 600 anti-fascists who discuss and make decisions regarding the Defence Fund – turned down.  Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s Libera Community Space wrote us to request support to help expand their community centre.  While we agreed that this was a fantastic project, we felt that it fell outside of the mandate of the Defence Fund and turned down their request because of that.

Over the past three months, ten anti-fascists in four countries received help and support when they most needed it from The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund.  Four other anti-fascists wrote to thank us for the help we provided them in the past – for three of them, help that meant they were able to beat unjust criminal charges!  None of this would have happened without the generous donations of our supporters.  We do vitally-important work that deserves your support.

We strongly encourage everyone to make a contribution to the Defence Fund.   Sign up to make a recurring monthly donation of any amount via our  paypal or Patreon accounts or make a one-time donation via our paypal or fundrazr.  Hold a fundraiser for us!  Print out our downloadable flyer and spread the word!  Re-blog our posts!  Anything you can do to help us help anti-fascists helps.