The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund does not provide aid to everyone that reaches out to us to request it. Maintaining the integrity of the fund is important to us. In order to do that, we’ve established some guidelines to help us figure out the kinds of things we will and will not lend a helping hand with, which means that sometimes we turn down requests we receive. In the first month of 2020, this happened twice.
One case involved a foiled murder plot. In mid-January, the FBI arrested six members of the white supremacist terrorist group “The Base.” Four of them had been plotting to murder an anti-fascist couple in Georgia (after three of them planned to murder the fourth white supremacist, who they didn’t trust to keep his mouth shut!). Naturally, the antifa targeted for murder were understandably concerned about this and a crowdfunder was started to raise funds to pay for security measures to keep the couple safe.
This is normally something the Defence Fund would absolutely support. But one of our guidelines is that if a crowdfunder meets or exceeds its initial fundraising goal, we won’t contribute to it, given that there is enough support for the initiative already and our resources would be put to better use for anti-fascists that aren’t as fortunate. Happily, this crowdfunder hit 200% of its initial goal in just two days! No need for us to step in and we’re very happy to hear our two friends are safe & well-supported.
The other case involved a woman who was targeted for a harassment campaign by Florida white supremacist Augustus Invictus and his minions, after she helped Invictus’ teenaged fiancé leave him in 2017. This woman feels that should Invictus – who is currently awaiting trial on kidnapping and domestic violence charges – be granted bail, she would be a target for further and intensified harassment. Therefore, she felt the need to relocate immediately.
There was much discussion about this second request for support, but in the end it was rejected for a few different reasons. Like the other crowdfunder mentioned above, this woman’s crowdfunder did surpass its initial goal. The crowdfunder also listed some expenses that the Defence Fund felt were not related to the harassment the woman was being subjected to by Invictus & company, which many members of the Decisions Crew for the Defence Fund took into account when considering her request. It was also unclear whether this woman was an anti-fascist doing anti-fascist work that resulted in this circumstance (something that the Defence Fund is mandated to assist with) or whether she was a victim of harassment and threats by white supremacists (something that the Defence Fund is not mandated to assist with and lacks the resources to assist with). This latter point was further complicated by the lengthy intimate relationship the woman had had with Invictus prior to 2017 (as documented in a memoir she had previously published), which made any anti-fascist bona fides she may have claimed somewhat murkier.
Sometimes it’s difficult to decide how the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund should be utilized. That’s where the 800+ members of its Decisions Crew come into play, by first discussing each proposal or request and then, should consensus not be forthcoming, making a decision via a vote. Anyone who donates a minimum of $20USD to the Defence Fund receives an invitation to join the Decisions Crew – maybe you should secure your invitation today!
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