Last month, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund showed some genuine solidarity with two groups doing real anti-fascist work in Europe.
The Iuventa is a rescue ship that’s been operating in the Mediterranean Sea since 2016. During those four years it save saved the lives of over 14,000 refugees risking their lives to find safe haven by traversing the deadliest border in the world.
If you’d think that such heroic efforts would be lauded the world over then you won’t be surprised that the crew of the Iuventa have received awards from The Paul Grüninger Foundation and Amnesty International for their life-saving work.
But not in Italy.
Italy has taken the position that saving refugees from drowning is a criminal act and has seized the Iuventa and launched an absurd investigation into the crew for “people smuggling.” The Iuventa 10 now face criminal prosecution in Italy on charges that could lead to 20-year prison sentences if convicted.
We can think of fewer actions that more closely embody the values of anti-fascism than to literally save the lives of thousands of refugees. We are honoured that we were able to make a donation to the legal defence of these 10 antifa sailors and we encourage everyone who believes that the value of human lives transcends borders to do the same.
While the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew was discussing this case, the post-election situation in Belarus transformed into a full-scale rebellion against that country’s autocrat. The state’s response has been mass arrests, kidnappings, and brutal violence. Anarchist Black Cross Belarus made a call for support for the legal defence of those detained/arrested and The Defence Fund was one of the first organizations to respond with a large contribution.
Anti-fascism doesn’t always look the way it’s portrayed in the news media.
Sometimes it means rescuing migrants from drowning. Sometimes it means standing up to dictators. But anti-fascism is always about showing true solidarity with anti-fascists doing such important work. That is why The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund exists. So if supporting actions like these is something you want to do, we have a simple way for you to start doing that!