Portland has seen more than its share of extreme right violence over the last year or two. With two people stabbed to death by an alt right “free speech warrior” just last year + the seemingly never-ending Islamophobic/anti-refugee/”alt-right” rallies happening there ever since, it’s clearly a hotspot for both extreme right activity and also antifa opposition.
After local fascist organizer Joey “Patriot Prayer” Gibson & company got their asses handed to them last month, one would hope they got the message. No such luck. Instead, they doubled-down and flew in Proud Boys and other neo-nazi goons from all over the country for their June 30th event. With full cooperation & support of the Portland police deparment, who provided an armed escort, then attacked antifa counter-protesters with pepper spray and rubber bullets before letting dozens of armed fascists charge through the police lines @ antifa.
But anti-fascists in Portland, even faced with attacks from the cops and non-state fascists, stood their ground, held it down, and stopped the fash from marching. After a couple of intense police-faciliated street battles that left several injured on both sides and several antifa arrested by the po-po, the fash ran back to their bus and ran away once again. Instead of smashing Portland antifa, fascist violence was shut down on the streets and local media ran numerous stories highlighting the violence of the fash groups, the connections between groups like Gibson’s Patriot Prayer and outright neo-nazis, and how much the police had helped the fash.
But we still have to deal with the aftermath. Several antifa were injured and/or arrested and we don’t want them to face the consequences of that alone. Two vouched crowdfunders have been set up here and here so it wasn’t a tough decision for the Defence Fund to contribute. If you think it’s important to back up the people who face down armed fascist thugs & their police collaborators on the streets, you’ll want to contribute, too.
The mural of former Philadelphia police chief/notorious bigot Frank Rizzo, post-improvements.
We don’t know who exactly took it upon themselves to improve upon the mural of Frank Rizzo, the famously racist and homophobic former police chief and mayor of Philadelphia, but if we did we’d certainly thank them for their community service and buy them a drink. Rizzo’s notoriety as police chief was earned by doing things like calling for The Black Panthers to be lynched, framing civil rights groups, and ordering cops to specifically attack black protestors. In his last bid for mayor, Rizzo publicly called on constituents to “vote white” and re-elect him.
You can’t walk a block in Philly without running into someone that remembers and loathes Rizzo. So why the hell anyone would erect a mural & statue in honor of this racist, homophobic, and utterly corrupt cop and politician in that town is anybody’s guess. There is a standing call for the mural to be removed but some of us apparently prefer a more direct approach and “fixed” it themselves.
In any event, the po-po did arrest and charge someone with the mural improvement and said person took a plea deal with included fifty hours of community service (from which we hope they deduct the time taken to perform the community service of improving the Rizzo mural!) + a $2000 fine. The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was happy to kick in a significant chunk of that fine to help pay it off. If you’d like to pitch in as well, there is a crowdfunder set up to pay off the fine. If you’d like to enable us to take care of fines for future mural modifiers, donate to the Defence Fund today!
At least not in New York, anyway. Antifascists were in attendance at a candlelight vigil on June 24th to peacefully protest the kidnapping of migrant children by ICE, just in case there was trouble. Of course there was trouble, in the form of two belligerent bigots that shoved their way through the crowd and attempted to assault a black man that was speaking to those gathered. When they swung on a person that tried to de-escalate things, antifa intervened and quickly walked the racists away from the crowd.
Some liberal woman there decided that that was not appropriate action to take and that it was her job to call the police in, which of course she did. The cop she waved over threatened one of the antifa and then 90 seconds later assaulted them, then arrested them on jacked-up, purely fictitious charges.
Now, because one of our antifa friends took steps to remove a violent racist from a peaceful protest, they face jail time and are compelled to mount a legal defence. We all know that that costs money to do, so when they asked us to come up with half of a lawyer’s retainer, that’s what we did. Now our friend at least has a competent lawyer to defend them as they go through a bullshit legal process, which they’re dealing with entirely because of the liberal busybody that decided she should bring the police in to punish people for protecting protestors against violent racist thugs.