The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund: 2021-2022 Annual Report

Seven years ago, the people comprising the Antifa International collective grew tired of seeing antifascists jammed up in emergencies trying desperately to raise the funds they needed to get through said emergencies. They thought that a standing fund tasked with providing emergency support to antifascists in trouble was needed. Rather than waiting for someone else to do it, they established
The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund in June of 2015.

Since then, the Defence Fund has provided emergency support to antifascists the world over, whenever they’ve faced dire circumstances resulting from their work thwarting bigotry and fascism. It remains 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 $175,000USD in emergency aid to more than 650 antifascists in 23 different countries.

Since June 2021, we’ve intervened nineteen times to provide game-changing levels of support and material aid to 63 antifascists in eleven different countries (Austria, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Ukraine, the UK, and the US). This was a 72% increase over the number of times we provided emergency support in the previous 12-month period (an increase that may be due to the relaxing of COVID restrictions globally allowing for more people to clash with each other in contentious settings). The $46,468.59 USD worth of support we provided marked a 40% increase over the previous 12-month period; in fact, 45% of all monies the Defence Fund has distributed in its eight years have gone out over the past two years.

89% of the funds disbursed since June 2021 went towards legal defence, court costs, fines, and prisoner support; 11% of contributions covered emergency relocation costs for antifascists who had been threatened at their homes by fascists.

This was money well-spent; in over half of the cases we intervened in, the antifascists we supported in the last twelve months had criminal charges against them reduced, dropped altogether, or else were found not guilty. One antifascist group that had been banned from existing by the French government won their appeal of the “dissolution” order and have returned to full-force. Antifascists in Colombia and the United States are safe because we helped them relocate to safer homes after they received death threats. In all of these cases, our intervention helped save antifascists from life-altering circumstances they were facing solely because of their public opposition to fascism.

Happily, this was the first 12-month period since the Defence Fund’s inception where we did not have to cover medical expenses or help with the costs of an antifascist recovering from an injury sustained in a confrontation with fascists. We think this is most likely because of the reduced number of street-level confrontations between antifascists and fascists due to COVID lockdown restrictions and anticipate this peaceful blip to vanish over the next twelve months, as antifascists are once again compelled to defend their communities from fascist terror campaigns.

The Defence Fund is operated by the Decisions Crew – a body of antifascists from around the world who have made contributions of at least $20USD to the Defence Fund. Decisions about how the Defence Fund operates 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, more than 1350 antifascists from 25 countries have been invited to join the Decisions Crew.

A year ago, we predicted that Donald Trump’s relegation to obscurity would lead to a drop on contributions to the Defence Fund, as the cause of antifascism subsequently fell from the headlines. At the same time, we also predicted an increase in the requests for emergency support as a resurgent global fascist movement made gains by infiltrating and co-opting the COVID conspiracy movement. Unfortunately, we have been proven correct on both counts. Contributions to the Defence Fund were down 17% over the last twelve months while at the same time dispersal amounts to antifascists in need increased by a massive 40%. Despite our long track record of excellent stewardship, this places the Defence Fund in an untenable position. If contributions to the Defence Fund do not increase, we will be forced to curtail support of antifascists facing emergencies.

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!

The Dark After The Dawn

Banner at the protest against Greek Minister of Internal Affairs & former Golden Dawn bigwig Makis Voridis 

If you were hoping that Greece’s Golden Dawn being declared a criminal organization marked the end of fascism in Greek politics, you’d be wrong. Current Greek Minister of Internal Affairs Makis Voridis is living proof of this. Years and years of active involvement in full-on Hitler-worshipping fascist organizations did nothing to deter his appointment to the Internal Affairs post.

But that doesn’t mean that Greeks are willing to just look the other way, least of all in Messolonghi. There local anti-fascists set up a “welcoming committee” after hearing of Voridis’ intention to attend an event there. They let all event attendees know in no uncertain terms that Voridis and his ilk were not welcome in Messolonghi.

Of course the police – whose disproportionate support of Golden Dawn when it was still pretending to be a legitimate political party and not the murderous gang of fascist racketeers and thugs it turned out to be – over-reacted to all of this and attacked the protestors. In the ensuing chaos, one cop allegedly got bopped on the head. In the end, nine people were charged; two with felonies. The two facing felony charges needed bail money and a crowdfunder was set up to cover that and other legal costs. Of course, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is going to help pay bail for any antifascist in a situation like this, so that is exactly what we did.

UPDATE: Unintimdated!

Our guy, back to a Mack truck, dealing with the person he was accused of “intimidating”

When local chuds in Peterborough, Canada decided to hold their very own #FluTruxKlan convoy, one brave soul literally stood in their way, by blocking their progression down city streets. The anti-health chuds very aggressively went after him, while the cops looked on and did nothing. When that altercation was done, the cops did weigh in and press intimidation charges against our guy!

We heard about it & were not having it. The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund helped him to secure a very good lawyer and paid the lawyer’s bills. How good was the lawyer? So good that all charges were dropped.

This brave citizen of Peterborough went from facing prison time to going scot-free, because people like us had his back and made sure he didn’t have to worry about having competent legal defence representing him. He wrote us to tell us the good news, saying “I can’t possible thank all of you enough for coming to my defence! This has been super empowering and an amazing support to continuing to help and defend those in need! I feel like it’s a win for everyone! Be sure to pass along my greatest thanks too.”

And so, dear reader, if you have ever made a contribution to the Defence Fund, that gratitude is for you! If you’ve never contributed to the Defence Fund, isn’t it time you did?

UPDATE: Undissolvable!

ON NE DISSOUT PAS UNE REVOLTE QUI GRONDE! – Groupe Antifasciste Lyon et Environs

The French state keeps trying to criminalize antifascism and French antifascists keep beating them. You’ll recall last year’s failed attempt to frame up seven Lyon antifascists on criminal charges -charges they resoundingly beat with the help of skilled legal counsel the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund helped them retain. Then just last month, the state used its extraordinary powers to “dissolve” (ban) Groupe Antifasciste Lyon et Environs – rendering their existence a criminal matter.

What had GALE done to deserve such a severe measure? They had gained the scrutiny of the state after hosting a concert where performing MCs led the crowd in a round of the (in)famous French slogan toute le monde déteste la police (everybody hates the police). Upon further investigation, authorities discovered GALE had also produced a poster with the slogan “Death To The Nazis!” (Quentin Taratino might want to avoid Cannes in case they find out about Inglorious Basterds and issue a warrant for his arrest!).

That was the basis by which the French state banished GALE from existing.

GALE did not take this dissolution order sitting down and, with the support of the Defence Fund and other allies, hired lawyers to file an appeal. On May 11th, the appeal was heard and, once again, what actually dissolved was the French state’s arguments for ordering GALE’s dissolution.

These are two major courtroom victories for Lyon antifascists in less than a year – victories that the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund played a significant role in providing the necessary resources to ensure the outcome.

If the idea of antifascists beating the state at its own game, using its own court system, delights you as much as it does us, get in on the fun – make a contribution to the Defence Fund today!