Appropos of nothing, here’s a picture of anti-fascist youth in Leuven, Belgium on the march earlier this month.
If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough, you’re well aware of the dangers inherent in anti-fascist work. One way antifa try to make it a bit safer is to keep the public dissemination of details of actions to a bare minimum. On one hand, that’s good “opsec,” but when you’re doing something like trying to run a defence fund for anti-fascists, that can create some difficulties when you need to confirm the details of a particular request or proposal for support.
One way we’ve dealt with this tension is relying on well-established, reputable antifa crews that we’ve built a relationship over the years to be our “eyes & ears” and verify or vouch for the circumstances of anti-fascists in emergency situations that we’re told about. Case in point: a request to help with the legal defence of an antifa in a specific region, facing charges after confronting a well-known area nazi. Because charges are pending + there is a real threat of retribution, we weren’t provided many more details beyond that. What we did have, though, was the word of two highly-regarded antifa crews in the region who we were able to vouch for the veracity of the request. In the absence of the kind of details we’d normally require before considering a request for help, the word of these two crews was enough for us and we were able to deliver funds to the antifa in trouble.
We’ve learned over the last four years of running the Defence Fund that it’s important to confirm that the events surrounding a request or proposal for support can be verified. It’s also important to confirm that the person(s) trying to raise money are in contact with the subject of the request/proposal (we’ve seen many well-intentioned but poorly thought-out attempts to raise money set up by people that weren’t even in contact with whoever they were raising money for!). After helping out more than 400 anti-fascists in eighteen different countries, we’re proud to say that we’ve never heard of a circumstance where we were tricked into providing support under false pretense.
Antifascists face off against outnumbered, flag-waving bigots.
Rah-rah America! USA! USA! America #1! And what better way to show your patriotic devotion to the greatest country in the world than to gather a ragtag pack of bigots & miscreants like the white supremacist gang Proud Boys, anti-choice zealots, and violent gang leader Joey Gibson to come to a highway overpass and wave flags around.
On May 5th, Eugene, Oregon responded to just such an event in a big way, bringing out a counterprotest that outnumbered the white supremacist “patriotic” rally four-to-one. That couldn’t have been encouraging for the extreme right, many of whom came in from out of town for this debacle.
Probably more encouraging for them was their police pals showing up to defend them. Which largely consisted of turning a blind eye whenever they felt like shoving people and focusing their attention instead on the “dangerous” antifa there. You know antifa, that super-violent movement that’s killed zero people, compared to the hundreds murdered by the far right so far this year.
Anyways, things ended rather predictably, with the extreme right fuckjobs slinking off to whatever rocks they crawled out from under, and the po-po arresting one person – of course, on the anti-fascist side. Said person now needs to pay a lawyer to get the utter bullshit they’re charged with thrown out in court. Their friends set up a crowdfunder to raise the cash and we were happy to be able to throw in a big chunk of money to help with that.
Should you donate to our friend’s crowdfunder? Of course you should!
Should you donate The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund so we can continue to defend anti-fascists standing up for their communities in the face of bigotry and terror? of course you should!
We leave you with something Banksy once said: “People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one.”
Some of les antifascistes du Paris responsible for running fascists out of les gilets jaunes.
France’s gilets jaunes movement has been enormously successful. What started as a protest against the ruling classes’ attempt to shift the responsibility/costs of climate change on to France’s overly-burdened working class quickly became an effective working-class movement, demanding things like a liveable minimum wage, improvements to education and health care, and proportional representation. Despite having no leadership, they’ve won big concessions from the French government.
Predictably, a movement this successful is bound to attract fascist shitbags hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the movement. In the UK and Canada we’ve seen white supremacists take off their white robes and put on yellow vests in a ham-fisted attempt to co-opt the French movement. In France itself, all manner of fascist gangs have tried to infiltrate the movement on the streets.
As such, it’s been up to France’s legendary antifa crews to keep the bigots off the streets and out of the movement. Which they’ve done so with much success! Social Bastion, Génération Identitaire, the Zouaves Paris the Militia Paris, and others have all been sent running whenever they’ve tried to worm their way into the movement.
But recently, members of the fascist gangs have taken to crying to their friends les flics about the poor treatment they’ve received from antifa. Which of course led the police to press charges against several Parisian antifascists recently.
A crowdfunder has been set up to help pay for the legal defence of those arrested antifascists and when the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was asked to help, we of course contributed our share. We strongly encourage anti-fascists everywhere to demonstrate our international solidarity with those arrested by donating either to the crowdfunder for our friends in Paris, to the Defence Fund itself, or both!