The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is six! Since 2015, we have provided emergency support to antifascists the world over, whenever they’ve faced dire circumstances resulting from their work thwarting bigotry and fascism. We are the only international anti-fascist solidarity project we’re aware of that’s dedicated exclusively to supporting antifa in emergencies. To-date we have provided over $140,000USD in emergency aid to more than 600 antifascists in 22 different countries.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve been able to provide very significant levels of support to 125 antifascists in six different countries (Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, France, Germany, and the U.S.). We provided emergency support to antifascists 15 times since June 2020 – a 40% drop over the same period in 2018-2019 that we believe is entirely attributable to COVID-19 restrictions on things like public gatherings. That said, the $48,000USD of financial support we provided marked a 66% increase from the previous year and the most money we’ve ever contributed for emergency aid to antifascists since the Defence Fund began.
As usual, the majority (76.7%) of the funds disbursed went towards legal defence, court costs, fines, and prisoner support; 8.9% of contributions covered medical bills, injury recovery and living costs while antifascists recovered from injuries sustained in attacks against them; 7.8% of contributions covered emergency relocation; and 6.6% was used to repair serious damage to buildings after fascist attacks and to improve physical security/defences.
All decisions about how the Defence Fund is used and operates are made by the Decisions Crew – a body of antifascists from around the world who have made contributions of at least $20USD to the Defence Fund. The decisions are made via consensus wherever possible and by majority vote in circumstances where consensus is not forthcoming. In our first year, there were all of 45 Decisions Crew members. As of today, over 1200 antifascists from 25 countries have been invited to join the Decisions Crew.
Normally in our annual reports, we like to highlight particular cases we dealt with over the previous 12 months that we felt were significant or special in some way. This past October, New York antifascist David Campbell was released from prison after being forced to accept a non-cooperating plea deal on charges that were largely fabricated. David was good enough to create this message for us:
Looking forward to the twelve months ahead, we anticipate a a drop in contributions to the Defence Fund. Since Donald Trump is no longer occupying the most powerful position in the world and since he has lost most of the channels he used to rail against antifascists, the cause of antifascism may not seem as urgent to some who we could normally count on for support. Compounding this expected reduction in contributions, we also foresee a marked increase in requests for support as more regions move out of COVID-mandated lockdowns and antifascists have to contend with a resurgent fascist movement which wasted no time infiltrating and co-opting the COVID conspiracy movement.
We are extremely proud of the work we’ve done with The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund and we firmly believe it has proven itself as one of the most effective ways to support antifascism. We strongly encourage anyone opposed to bigotry and fascism to make a contribution to the Defence Fund today and become actively involved in our project of international antifascist solidarity!