No y Si

RASH Bogotá crew on the streets.

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund have dealt with two requests for support so far in 2022. The first one was a request to support Dr. Nathan Jun – a philosophy professor subjected to an intense harassment campaign by far-right trolls that ultimately led to his forced resignation from his teaching position – of of which appeared to be triggered by his appearance at a rally memorializing Breonna Taylor while wearing an anti-fascist t-shirt + (of all things) a post on a friend’s facebook page where he referenced a 150-year-old quote from a French priest. Happily, Dr. Jun managed to raise more than 2x his goal on a crowdfunder and since the Defence Fund has a guideline about saving our resources when a crowdfunder meets or exceeds its initial fundraising goal, we declined to provide additional support so we could put those resources to better use for anti-fascists that aren’t as fortunate. 

Case-in-point: Rojos y Anarquistas Skinheads Bogotá. Being openly leftist in a country where right-wing paramilitaries murdered over 100 activists last year takes a special kind of courage but also comes with consequences. When one of these groups sent out a death threat naming a RASH crew member in Bogotá, Colombia as a target, he was forced to take extreme precautions to protect himself and his family. We will not get into more detail than this for obvious reasons, but we will say this: we have done what we can to make sure he can keep himself and his family safe.

Colston Four Acquitted!

Statement from The Colston Four after their acquittal today

A few hours ago, the Colston Four were acquitted of all charges by a Bristol jury!  Back in June we sent money to defend these four Bristolians who were charged after 10,000+ people spontaneously tore down the statue of genocidal slave merchant Edward Colston and threw it off a pier. Their stellar legal team put forth a compelling moral argument that convinced the jury to find the four not guilty – a legal team paid for in no small part by the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund.

This result is a nice hat trick after both Scottie Tripn and Paul from Permanent Revolution both avoided prison sentences just last month. It’s also testament to the results of international anti-fascist solidarity. If you’ve contributed to the Defence Fund in the past, these victories are because of you. If you haven’t contributed, it’s not too late!

Fascists vs. The Fourth Estate

Alissa Azar (photo credit: Alex Wittwer)

When you’re an independent journalist trying to cover the myriad of fascist violence in Oregon, and when you’re also a decent human being, that means you’re going to be putting out a lot of things that make fascists look like the violent goons they are. That also means they’re going to make you a target for some of that violence. Especially if you’re a woman; even more so if you’re a Syrian woman.

Alissa Azar can tell you all about that. She’s provided coverage and footage of much of the violence perpetuated by the Piss Boys* and other violent fascist gangs in Oregon. Over last year, that led to physical attacks by fascists against her, most notably in September when armed Piss Boys carrying riot shields chased her down a street before pinning her against a wall, bear-macing her, then beating her to the ground. The assault would have continued if not for the patrons of a nearby bar pulling Alissa to safety.

But it was from an earlier confrontation in June, where the Piss Boys again bear-maced, tackled, and knocked her unconscious that the police decided, months later, to press charges – against Alissa!

Now, on top of the injuries Alissa received that day (including a possible traumatic brain injury), she has to come up with the resources to defend herself against a bullshit case put together by the Piss Boys’ personal bodyguards – the police. To make matters worse, fascist troll Andy Ngo has targeted Alissa, and his minions have been trying to knock out every avenue she has to raise funds to hire a lawyer to defend her in court.

The good news is that Andy Ngo hasn’t knocked the Defence Fund out yet and we were happy to send Alissa a chunk of change that will hopefully be a great help to getting a lawyer lined up.

(*we prefer the more-apt descriptor “Piss Boys” to their original name, “Proud Boys”)