A few times a year, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund‘s Decisions Crew – the 700+ anti-fascists around the world who discuss and decide on how the Defence Fund is used – come across a request for help that they just don’t feel meets our mandate. Such was the case of J., an antifascist who had spent several years behind bars for the “crime” of defending themselves & their community against white supremacist scum. Now out of prison, J. was looking for some support getting back on their feet.
And if it were as simple as that, the Decisions Crew may have been more inclined to lend a hand. But there were some complicating factors, including the fact that J’s recent release was for a second conviction – this one unrelated to anti-fascist work and stemming from a non-political crime they committed when they initially got out of prison for the altercation with the nazis. That + some other stuff = this request feeling a little too far out from the Defence Fund’s mandate 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.”
On the other hand, the Decisions Crew also dealt with a more clear-cut request from Bristol Antifascists. One of their own had been done up by the coppers at a confrontation with the National Front in Grantham two years ago and after an agonizingly slow process before the courts, came out on the other end with a hefty fine. Bristol Antifascists were looking for help paying off about half of the fine (as they could cover the rest) and we quickly came to a decision to do just that. It’s outrageous that anyone would be fined for defending their communities against fascists and we weren’t about to let our friend stand alone for doing so.