The thing about fascist violence is that the consequences don’t just end after the event itself. The ramifications can continue for years and years. Such has been the case for two anti-fascists The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund has supported in the past – one in Portland, OR. and another in Helsinki, Finland.
Luke is a well-respected OG antifa in Portland that is hated by area neo-nazis. So much so that they ambushed him on the streets in 2010 and shot him, leaving him partially paralyzed. Luke has been fighting since then to literally get back on his feet. In 2017, we made a contribution to his crowdfunder to help him access alternative therapies that were otherwise unavailable to him. We were ecstatic to hear that his condition has improved dramatically since then and in a recent blog post on his crowdfunder Luke seems confident he’ll make even further strides with the right physical therapy. Unfortunately, physical therapy isn’t cheap so Luke reached out to see if he could get some more help with that. He could and we did! We want Luke focused on getting stronger and healthier and not on how he’s going to pay to do that.
Meanwhile, 5000 miles away from Portland: Oleg is a Russian anti-fascist living in Helsinki, Finland. Like Luke, Oleg was an active and well-known antifascist in his home town and was brutally attacked by the fascists in 2004, leaving him with a permanent brain injury. That injury requires some very expensive medication to mitigate the symptoms of and in 2016 we helped Oleg take care of that bill.
Despite the attack and his injury, Oleg continued to speak out against neo-nazis and they, in turn, never stopped targeting him. When it became increasingly apparent that his enemies were collaborating with the police to come after him and his family, Oleg wisely decided to flee Russia entirely and has claimed asylum in Finland – again with our support. Two years later, when he needed more assistance paying for his medical needs, we covered them. This week, we’ve also helped cover the costs of sponsoring his family to reunite with him in Finland. We hope nothing but the best for all of them.
If you’d like to support Luke’s recovery, you can contribute to his crowdfunder here.
If you’d like to help Oleg reunite with his family and settle in their new home, please contact us and we can tell you how best to do that.
If you understand that supporting other anti-fascists means doing whatever we can to make sure they’re okay, no matter how long it takes them to recover from being attack by neo-nazi thugs, then you should make a contribution to the Defence Fund today.