Chat Shit, Get Banged: The Luke Lenzner Story
We know how to have a good time, but the various trolls of the alt-right have some weird ideas about what a fun night out looks like. Take 34-year-old Luke Lenzner. He decided a great date with his wife would be for them to hit several Portland bars, where he’d threaten the patrons and lie about being a veteran (thought right wing extremists were against “stolen valor?”). “Come outside and see what happens” he challenged people drinking at The Vern – all of whom were minding their own business when Lenzner waltzed in, trying to provoke a fight.
Lenzner’s dry spell came to an abrupt end at Growler’s Taproom, where Lenzner decided to confront a biracial couple and got a big ol’ shiner for his efforts. Which is, of course, what he wanted; by now you’ve probably noticed a pattern of alt-right trolls picking fights with anti-fascists, racialized people, LGBTQ+ people, etc. and then when they come out on the losing end, filing charges with their police pals, uploading heavily-edited video, and ca$hing in via crowdfunders. Right, Andy Ngo?
Anyways, Lenzner’s narrative of being a poor innocent victim attacked by the savage leftist mobs of Portland just because of his MAGA hat quickly collapsed when video of his antics at other bars that night surfaced. But the two people who “attacked” Lenzner were still up on charges & had to raise money to defend themselves, which we of course pitched in to help out with.
And here’s the happy ending: a grand jury threw out all the charges against the accused couple! This probably isn’t the last we’ve heard from Lenzner, but hopefully he’s deep in his hole, licking his wounds, for a long time.
August 25, 2018: Charlottesville survivor Aubtin Heydari visits the site of the attack two weeks later, after leaving the hospital.
About two weeks ago, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund sent some support to Star, one of the survivors of the 2017 white supremacist terror attack in Charlottesville, VA., after she reached out to us for help. In response to our support, she sent us this lovely note:
Oh my gosh thank you **so** much. I am so incredibly grateful I am crying. I seriously can’t thank you enough. So many people seem to have already forgotten about the car attack. Unfortunately there are those of us who still live with its ramifications every day. Thank you for not forgetting about me.
If you’ve made a donation to the Defence Fund in the past, that thanks goes out to you, since the Defence Fund is 100% funded by individual donors and you made it possible for us to send Star the support she needed within days of her reaching out.
If you haven’t made a donation to the Defence Fund, maybe now it the right time for you to make a contribution of any amount, so we are ready to support the next anti-fascist that reaches out to us for help when they need it the most! Here’s how you can do that.
After police in Hamilton, Canada arrested LGBTQ+ people who defended a Pride event from a attack by violent homophobes, Hamiltonians took to the streets to let them know what’s what.
The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund had a very, very active summer; over the past three months we’ve looked at ten different requests for support from 17 anti-fascists. Here’s a recap for you:
- After far-right goons starting showing up at the home of an antifascist flashing guns and threatening to murder their whole family, we helped that family relocate to a safe location before the nazis could make good on their threats.
- We did the same thing for two moms in South Carolina after the FBI, during the course of an “investigation” into local antifascist activity, told the moms that they had intentionally provided their addresses to local fascists. Who then started showing up at their homes to threaten them & their families. So these two moms had to defend themselves & their kids from both the FBI & local nazis at the same time. Fortunately, and with the help of our support, they’ve been very successful in doing just that!
- That same month we received some encouraging news from Luke – a Portland antifascist that was shot several years ago in a botched murder attempt by PDX nazis, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Luke’s been working very hard at physical therapy and (thanks again in part to our support for his treatments & therapy), is making real progress towards getting back up on his own two feet.
- In Dayton, OH. 600 cops hit the streets to protect nine KKK members from about 600 anti-fascists there to run them out of town. The cops succeeded in keeping the Klan buddies safe during the rally, but some of the KKKowards got cocky and showed up at a local restaurant a few hours later, only to be quickly run out the door. Three people unwelcoming the Klan caught charges for doing so, and we were there to help them pay for lawyers.
- Speaking of Ohio, we actually turned down one request for support this summer from there, when an anti-fascist reached out to us for help beating charges around ammunition after being investigated for comments he made online about Donald Trump. In the end, we felt the charges weren’t related to anti-fascist work and the link was too tenuous for us to support.
- Hamilton, Canada was a little crazy in July. After violent homophobes tried to attack a Pride event there and got pushed back by militant LGBTQ+ folk defending their event, the police decided to lay charges – against four of the Pride defenders, one of whom wasn’t even at the throwdown! Of course, we stepped in to make sure everyone there had what they needed.
- Another perennial hotspot has been Portland, where we helped antifa pay for medical attention & legal support after repelling an attack by Proud Boys clowns in July.
- We also helped the family of a Russian antifascist forced to seek asylum in another country reunite with him by covering a lot of the fees associated with them immigrating to their new home.
- While the white supremacist terror attack in Charlottesville, VA. that killed Heather Heyer and injured at least 30 others happened two years ago, the damage is ongoing. Case in point: one of the survivors of that attack reached out to us for help paying for her 6th surgery resulting from her injuries & day-to-day expenses, since a lot of the fly-by-night crowdfunders that went viral immediately after the attack have since gone dry or turned out to not really be about supporting the survivors at all. This, of course, was not the first time we’ve provided a helping hand to survivors of that particular attack.
That’s a lot of work that for a group of volunteers to take on over the course of three months, isn’t it? It all added up to thousands of dollars going out to help anti-fascists. 100% of that money came from individual donations from anti-fascists around the world. If we’re to keep doing this work, we need to replenish the Defence Fund and replace the money we’ve doled out. That’s where you come in! If you support the people putting themselves on the line to protect their communities from fascism and bigotry, we are counting on you to demonstrate that by stepping up and giving whatever you can.