Summer’s Heating Up!

 

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Hamilton, Ontario comes out in support of the people who stood up to violent homophobes & defending Pride.

Well, things are certainly heating up and we’re not just talking about the weather!  We’ve been extremely busy here at The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund.  Here’s what we got up to just in the last couple of weeks:

You might recall from our last post that a Pride event in Hamilton, Canada was attacked by super-violent homophobes and religious extremists while the cops stood aside and watched.  This left it up to the community to defend itself, which it did in short order.  But after the dust had settled and people started calling out the police for not doing a goddamn thing, the police responded by arresting five people.  Four of those five people were LGBTQ+ folk either defending against the homophobic attack or – in the case of Cedar Hoppington – daring to publicly criticize the police but who wasn’t even at the event in question!

As we mentioned previously, our last action was to send money to help Cedar with their legal expenses.  Then, after learning about the arrests of three more Hamilton Pride defenders, we contributed to help with their legal defence as well.  You can too by making a donation here (be sure to let them know what it’s for!).

Meanwhile, in the city where an alt-right Islamophobe troll can make six figures by begging online after getting milkshaked & silly stringed, PDX antifascists countered a “rally” by the “Proud Boys” that was intentionally billed as a violent attack on whoever opposes their thinly-veiled white supremacy.  Three good people on our side now face legal & medical difficulties and Rose City Antifa have established a crowdfunder to help them out; we were happy to be able to contribute to that.

Meanwhile in Scandinavia, our friend Oleg continues to sort out the repercussions of a 2004 attack by armed nazi thugs that left with with a permanent brain injury and subsequent threats that forced him to flee Russia and see asylum in another country.  We’ve provided ongoing support to Oleg for the last four years, so when he came to us to ask for assistance paying for the various costs & fees related to repatriating his wife & child to live with him in his new home, it was an easy call for us to make.  We’re looking forward to seeing the reunion photos, Oleg!

We’re not even one month into summer and so far the Defence Fund has sent out literally thousands of dollars to help eight different anti-fascists in three countries.  We couldn’t do this at all if not for donations from thousands of anti-fascists around the world; we’re counting on you to allow us to continue this important work by contributing to the Defence Fund today.

 

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Easy Calls & Tough Calls

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From a post in support of Cedar.

Late last month, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund had to consider two requests for support.  One (the “tough call”) was from an anti-fascist in Ohio that had their home searched by the cops in response to allegedly threatening tweets they had made about Donald Trump.  The cops found a box of ammunition and have charged the person in question with being a felon in possession of ammunition.

There was no question as to this person’s antifa credentials, but what caused the 700+ members of the Decisions Crew (the body that discusses & decides what action to take whenever we receive a request for support) to hesitate was whether this specific incident was clearly related on anti-fascist work.  On one hand, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see Donald Trump as anything but a fascist.  On the other hand, the arrest was possession of ammunition and not about anti-fascist work itself.

The case seemed very close to one we dealt with about two years ago, where people had been accused of vandalized a Trump golf course.   In that case, we had a very spirited discussion but decided in the end (via majority vote) that the actions were not specifically anti-fascist enough to meet the Defence Fund’s mandate and we declined to provide material support.  So was the case with our friend in Ohio.

A much more clear-cut request (the “easy call”) came from Hamilton, Canada, where antifa had intercepted a group of homophobic hate preachers and right wing extremists on their way to fuck with a Pride event in a public park.  Armed with a 15-foot-tall mobile black curtain, our heroes managed to block the view of the haters from the LGBTQ+ people they were targeting for harassment.  This of course infuriated the bigots, who then physically attacked the antifascists several times while police blithely looked on (when one bystander asked why a cop why they weren’t intervening, the cop reportedly said “don’t you remember?  You didn’t want us to be invited to Pride!”  This has led to lots of people people putting “POLICE NOT INVITED” signs on their doors, since, like vampires, the police apparently have to be invited in before they can do their thing!).

The police took a lot of public heat for failing to step in and after a day or two began making arrests – OF QUEER/ANTIFA PEOPLE WHO DEFENDED PRIDE!!!  Their first arrest was Cedar – a well-known transgender woman, anarchist, and anti-fascist.  Claiming that Cedar violated parole by attending “a violent event,” police arrested them at a public meeting days later where Cedar openly criticized the cops.  Important to note: CEDAR WASN’T ANYWHERE NEAR THE PRIDE EVENT IN QUESTION!  That will come out in court days or weeks from now but in the meantime Cedar sits in jail, on a hunger strike.

We were asked to help come up with money to bail Cedar out and get them proper legal representation and we have done so without hesitation.  Meanwhile, cops have continued to arrest queer/antifa Pride defenders as well as people that have publicly protested to criticize their actions & the collusion of Hamilton’s mayor.  So the fallout is nowhere near over.  Which means that we’ll be counting on you, dear reader, to help us support these antifa & the antifa that will surely face consequences defending their communities from the fascist attacks to come.  Take 30 seconds and make a donation to the Defence Fund today.