Sometimes the consequences of standing up to hate aren’t so cut-and-dry. Sometimes new complications and circumstances pop up right when you think you’ve taken care of everything.
This was the case recently in the Twin Cities with the couple we helped out last month. Turns out that, while our help was well-appreciated by them, they had underestimated what they’d need to set things right again after being targeted by fascists. So they came back to us to request some additional help. After some discussion, we figured out how we could help them and we’ve done so today.
We received word that after a fascist bonehead in Montréal had to suddenly deal with urgent health care issues, two anti-fascists in Montréal found themselves in a bit of trouble. Fuck that fash dude, but in the meantime our two friends had some serious consequences befall them that made it hard for them to make rent, pay their bills, and defend themselves from those consequences.
If it seems that we are being deliberately vague here it’s because we are; there is still potential for further trouble for our two friends so we don’t want to say too much lest we make things worse for them. Suffice to say that, after confirming details we aren’t able to publish at this juncture, we had a discussion and came to consensus that The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund should lend a helping hand, which we did last week. We wish our two antifa friends all the best and hope that their troubles will soon be behind them!
How was your fall? Ours was really busy. Here’s what The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund got up to over the past three months:
Naturally, none of this came cheap. The Defence Fund is now spending an average of $2200USD per month to support anti-fascists and anti-racists the world over, right when showing solidarity with them really means something. This of course means that we need to raise $2200USD every single month just to sustain the level of support we’re currently providing, and that’s assuming that things don’t get any worse than they are now.
Take a look at that list of what we accomplished over the last three months. We kept badly-injured antifascists fed and housed. We helped a YPG fighter get out of a war zone. We took care of an antifa’s family while he’s locked up. And we helped pay for the legal defence of over 200 antifascists in DC and Richmond. If these sound like the kinds of things you wish you could do too, we have good news for you: you can by donating whatever you can afford to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund. Whether it’s a one-time contribution or you want to pick up some of our antifa merch or pledging a buck or two a month to defend your fellow antifa would not be a problem for you, your support = what helps us continue to support them.
Hold a fundraiser. Hit up your friends. Pass the hat at a show. Download our flyer and pass it out. If everyone contributes a little bit, we can keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last 2.5 years.
Laura Southern’s antifa welcoming committee, Twin Cities, October 25, 2017.
It’s becoming increasingly common for The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund to deal with multiple requests for support at the same time. Such was the case earlier this month, when the 500+ antifa who discuss requests and call the shots at the Defence Fund contended with two different requests that resulted in two differing decisions.
First, we received a request to help an antifa couple in the Twin Cities who joined over 200 other antifascists to confront a talk by racist troll Laura Southern on October 25th. Fascists tried to pick off the couple in a physical attack and badly injured a woman’s knee. This single incident created compounding problems, include the loss of her job due to her injury.
As one member of the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew put it, “this kind of ‘low level’ disruption of the lives of antifascists must be countered through this kind of mutual aid and material support. We can and must make sure comrades are supported when taking part in the struggle takes a toll.” So we were happy to help her get back on her feet and back in the fight.
The other request we were asked to consider was to help with the legal defence of a member of Redneck Revolt who was charged by police with some bullshit after having the nerve to attend a protest of a police shooting of a Latino man. This request generated a lot of back-and-forth discussion among the Decisions Crew and we were unable to reach consensus about what to do. After taking a vote, we decided to not provide support for this request.
There were a few reasons why we opted out of contributing to this. Some people argued that the action involved didn’t quite meet the definition of anti-fascist/anti-racist work, which is what the Defence Fund’s mandate is limited to. Others pointed out that Redneck Revolt have their own defence fund (which they call their “war chest”) and felt that would be the appropriate resource to access for support.
But most of the opposition to this request had to do with one of Redneck Revolt’s co-founders, Dave Strano. Strano has been outed as a serial abuser of women; something that Redneck Revolt does not appear to have done much of anything about to-date. The Torch Antifa Network issued a statement condemning Strano and disassociating itself from Redneck Revolt until that organization takes meaningful action to address Strano’s abuse. Many other antifa crews have done likewise. As such, many in the Decisions Crew were not at all comfortable with supporting a request from Redneck Revolt until they take the necessary steps to deal with their own house.
Donald Trump’s inauguration (or, as he’d like you to remember it, the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion”) certainly set the tone for what was to come. A police riot the likes of which hasn’t been seen since maybe the 1968 DNC in Chicago was unleashed in DC from 11am on January 20th – a day which ended with the mass arrests of over 200 people. Journalists, volunteer medics, legal observers, protestors, and bystanders – all were rounded up using police kettling tactics; all now face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges which could put them behind bars for decades.
Defend J20 Resistance has been posting the most up-to-date information an resources regarding the case. They’ve also put together a legal defence fund to help with the costs the 200 defendees are facing, which The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was honored to contribute to.
If you want to support the J20 defendants, you can do that right here.
If you want to help us continue to defend people putting their freedom on the line to oppose fascism, you can do that right here.
Our man in Rojava.
Hopefully, most of you will have heard about the courageous anti-fascists from around the world that have travelled far from home to volunteer as fighters against the fascist scum of Daesh (aka ISIS aka ISIL aka the Islamic State). All of them have recognized the importance of defending the Rojava revolution and the people struggling to replace Daesh’s brand of fascist theocractic fundamentalism with a truly egalitarian, feminist form of anarchism called “democratic confederalism.”
International antifascist fighting units like Tabûra Enteransyonal, the International Freedom Battalion, and the countless number of antifa who have joined the YPG and YPJ are literally putting their lives on the line to defend the people of Rojava and to liberate tens of thousands of others suffering under the fascist rule of Daesh.
So it was with our man Dev (nom de guerre), who exhausted his life savings to travel from his home country and join the YPG. Dev has spent nearly two years fighting with the YPG. Now Dev is trying to get back to his home country but the closing of regional airports and the fact that he’s in a war zone has complicated matters.
Dev needed $2000USD to get his ass out of there and get back home. But after months and months of fighting as a volunteer, our guy didn’t have two cents to rub together.
Happily, through the magic of crowdfunding, Dev managed to raise up $1600 on his own in about a week. The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was proud to be able to put him over his goal and help bring him home.
Dev: if you’re reading this, first drink’s on us when you get back home. Thank you for your service.
Biji Berxwedana Rojava!
On September 16th the good people of Richmond, Virginia descended upon the town statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, rightly demanding that this monument to the defenders of slavery and affront to humanity be taken down. Naturally, this attracted bigots of all kinds, who attempt to disguise their own racism as an interest in preserving statues to the losing side of the Civil War for “historical” reasons (funny how these people never propose to erect monuments to the victims of slavery for “historical” reasons, but we digress!).
There were some clashes and confrontations throughout the day and the Richmond police, perhaps thinking their role was to re-enact the role of their predecessors as the enforcers of slavery, chose to “keep the peace” by arresting several anti-fascists and supporters of Black Lives Matter. Now seven people are facing an array of fictitious charges dreamed up by the RPD and need help paying for their legal defence.
The good news is that local organizers were able to obtain pro-bono legal counsel, which significantly reduced the costs involved. Better news still: The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was able to pony up the cash required to pay for more than half of the remaining legal bill! Now our friends in Richmond have one less thing to worry about and can concentrate on defending themselves just as they defended their community that Saturday.
Of course, we would not have been able to do what we did without the generous contributions to the Defence Fund made by hundreds and hundreds of people that believe in showing real solidarity with the anti-racists who put themselves on the line. Please make a donation of any amount to the Defence Fund today, so we can keep backing up anti-fascists and anti-racists wherever and whenever they need backing up.
Long-time readers will recall the case of Patryk, a Polish anti-fascist convicted of crimes that were entirely fabricated by neo-nazis in a successful attempt to neutralize his opposition to their genocidal presence. Rather than serve the three years in prison, Patryk fled to the UK, where he fought extradition back to Poland.
Bad news compounds upon bad news, as Patryk lost his extradition case and has been forced to leave his 10-year-old son behind in the UK while he serves out his sentence in Poland for a crime that he not only did not commit, but one that happened solely in the collective imaginations of Polish boneheads and their friends in the prosecutor’s office.
ABC Brighton wants to make sure that Patryk’s son is well looked-after while separated from his dad and are raising funds to ensure that happens. The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was pleased to be in a position to help out with that by contributing to the cause. We highly recommend other anti-fascists follow suit.
Greetings from Berkeley!
It’s been a crazy, crazy summer, hasn’t it? Antifa went from being an obscure movement of people willing to actually stand up and defend their communities from white supremacist terrorists to being the “it” topic of the summer. This was largely because of the unprecedented wave of violence and killings committed by racist extremists this year.
Incredibly, “moderates” and the mainstream media reacted to this not by condemning the wave of racist terror unleashed, but by condemning those courageously opposing it! Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting surveyed the coverage of this after the white supremacist terrorism in Charlottesville and found that the media was slightly more-likely to condemn “antifa” as it was the fascists that murdered nine people this summer. Whether this was due to their own tendencies to rely on the logical fallacy of false equivalence or whether it is the influence of the Russian false news & disinformation apparatus that contributed to Trump’s election victory now turning its sights on antifa, much of the mainstream media are now parroting the talking points of neo-nazis and racist extremists – right down to referring to them by their preferred euphamism of “white nationalists.”
The police, who liberals tell us to rely on to stop this, openly collaborated with the bigots in Portland and stood aside and did nothing as KKK leaders shot at racialized people in Charlottesville. More than ever, it’s become clear that we can’t expect liberals or their institutions to back us up as armed racist extremists literally march through our streets.
So that was the context antifa found themselves in this summer. Counted on to defend their communities and literally save people’s lives more than ever, but expected to do that on their own and face condemnation and police repression for doing so.
The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is one of the only means of support and solidarity that anti-fascists and anti-racists can count on to have their back when they put themselves on the line against hate and have to deal with the consequences. So while antifa had to ramp things up this summer, so did the Defence Fund. Over the last three months the Defence Fund donated over $6000USD to more than a dozen anti-fascists and anti-racists – more than the Defence Fund gave out in its first two years combined! The money went to bail, legal fees, medical bills and, in one tragic case, to support the surviving daughter of a committed anti-fascist that was murdered by Daesh (aka ISIS).
If things continue at the pace of this past summer, the Defence Fund will have been called on to support twice the number of anti-fascists and anti-racists that we helped out in 2016. It would also mean that the Defence Fund will be completely tapped out before the end of this coming winter.
You might not be the kind of person that is going to stand face-to-face with armed bigots marching through your town to try to shut them down. You might not be the kind of person willing to publicly condemn hate when it rears its ugly head and threatens you, your family, your friends, and/or your neighbors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support the people who are that courageous. Donating to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund is probably the most effective way to do that. SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!