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.