If you are going to set up an organization devoted to religious intolerance and bigotry, maybe attempting to expand your reach to Ireland is not the smartest idea. That country has had more than its fill of hatred motivated by religious differences.
So it was a bit of a surprise move when the Islamophobes at PEGIDA decided it would be a brilliant idea to hold an event in Dublin. And not just anywhere in Dublin, but outside of the General Post Office, which some of you might realize has very important political significance to the Irish.
Not surprising: the response by Dubliners, who so ferociously ran PEGIDA out of the city in what amounted to the largest anti-fascist mass action the country has ever seen that PEGIDA has never dared to do anything in that city again.
This should have been the happy ending to this tale, but of course the police got involved and decided it was best to punish the anti-fascists. Which they have, through a dragged-out legal process that resulted years later in suspended sentences and over €10, 000 in fines meted out.
As AFA Ireland put it in their crowdfunder, “we must bear collective responsibility for those injured or arrested in their resistance to this fascism- and pay more than lip service to the saying ‘an injury to one is an injury to all.’ No one person should have to bear the brunt of being brave enough to put themselves on the line.” That’s a great summary of why we started The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund in the first place so the decision to make a contribution to help pay those fines off was an easy one for us to make.
Happily, we were able to donate enough to get the crowdfunder to its goal amount, which we hope means those Dublin antifascists that sent the Islamophobies packing weren’t out a single penny for their efforts.