When Florida-based “Proud Boy” and Infowars chatterbox Joe Biggs called for a rally in Portland on August 17th specifically targeting anti-fascists, he made it very clear what kind of rally he wanted it to be. Quoting coverage from The Daily Beast: In repeated social media posts promoting the rally, Biggs called for blood. “Get a gun. Bu[y] ammo. Get your gun license. Get training. Practice as much as you can and be ready because the left isn’t playing anymore and neither should we,” he wrote in one of many similarly violent posts, among which was a picture of a person being suffocated with a plastic bag with the caption “death to antifa.” He repeated the sentiments in a video while holding a pro-Trump baseball bat.
So it probably shouldn’t be surprising that some of the people that answered Biggs’ call came ready to hurt people. The ADL-identified white supremacist gang America Guard, for example, drove up from Utah in a Mad Max-style schoolbus and, when stuck in traffic and confronted by yelling anti-fascists, a couple of them opened the bus door and tried to smash people in the head with a claw hammer.
Fortunately, our man Alex was one of those people and he acted quickly enough to defend against this potentially-deadly attack in short order. Which, of course, led to charges being laid against him. In fact, the Portland prosecutors are intent on making example of him by laying the most serious felony charges imaginable. So while it’s possible he saved some people’s lives that day, he’s now facing years and years in prison for doing so.
When The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund heard about this, we got some money together to help Alex get proper legal representation and got it to him via his crowdfunder. Alex was nice enough to write us a thank-you note:
I am aware of what a huge gift this is from you. Thank you so much for believing in me.
I know there are others out there like me who need help, too. I pledge to use this money only for the stated purpose of legal defenses with regards to these specific cases.
Thank you, truly, for what you’ve done.
Meanwhile in Germany: we were asked to help out with a case we’re all-too familiar with. Four years ago, anti-fascist fans of the SV Werder Bremen were returning from a football match when they encountered a much larger group of drunk nazis. The antifa ultras tried to avoid trouble but the Bermen police pushed them back into the mob of nazis, who they then literally had to fight their way out of. Which they did very handily, only to be arrested by the same cops that forced them into the situation in the first place!
One of the antifa arrested in all of this was the very first anti-fascist the Defence Fund provided legal support to, way back in 2015! Now the case against the other six arrestees has wound down and while no one else served prison time, the court fines and legal costs amounted to an astounding €17500. The Defence Fund was able to make a contribution towards paying that fine off via the crowdfunder established for that purpose.
It doesn’t matter what country you’re in; it doesn’t matter how long your fight for justice takes – if you’re forced to defend yourself and your community from nazi violence, we’ve got your back, thanks to the thousands of anti-fascists that have donated to the Defence Fund! We depend on people showing genuine solidarity by continuing to make contributions to the Defence Fund, so if you haven’t done that in a while or if you’ve never done it, now’s the time.