Charlottesville – Leave No Antifa Behind!

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Charlottesville: site of the racist terror attack that took the life of Heather Heyer and injured B. and 18 others.

In the wake of the racist terror attack in Charlotteville this past summer that left Heather Heyer dead and severely injured 19 others, lots of crowdfunding pages went up to help defray the costs of being attacked by the murderous fascist pig.  With close to one million dollars being raised, one would hope that the nineteen survivors of the attack would have nothing to worry about and could concentrate of recovering from the injuries they sustained, knowing their financial costs would be taken care of.

But here’s the problem: none of the Charlottesville crowdfunding campaigns had clear oversight or accountability structures built-in to their efforts, so the well-meaning people that made donations didn’t actually have any say in how the funds would be dispersed.  And it’s starting to come out that some of these campaigns have not been operating in a way that most of their donors would approve of.

Case in point: B. is one of the anti-fascists severely injured in the same attack that claimed the life of Heather Heyer.  Since August 12th, B. has been unable to work as he awaits surgery for the injuries he sustained that day.  He’s also been the subject of an intense doxxing campaign by his attacker’s racist associates, who are keen to harass and further endanger those whom their fellow scumbag failed to murder.

B. requested help paying his rent and putting food on his table from one crowdfunding campaign, which had raised $200,000 allegedly to support the survivors of the Charlottesville attack.  Imagine his shock when the powers controlling that fund told him they would not release a penny to him or anyone else until they could prove that they had applied for assistance from government programs like the Virginia Victims Fund first.  To do so, B. would have to provide identification, which would in turn make his full name and address a matter of public record, further endangering him.  He would also have to agree to “cooperate” with the state, without any explanation of what sort of “cooperation” he would be compelled to furnish.

Contrast this with The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund: when we received B’s request for help, we had a discussion among the 500+ members of the Fund’s decisions crew about what to do.  Through that discussion, we were able to reach consensus about helping him pay his living costs while we recovers and send him the money.  That took us all of a week to do.  And now we’re blogging about our decision so everyone can see what our decision was.  At no time did we require B. to reveal information that could put him in further danger or compromise his personal security.

These are some of the reasons why we established the Defence Fund in the first place.  When a horrific attack like what happened in Charlottesville goes down, lots of well-meaning people will put out calls for donations to help the victims.  Some of these will, however, have no clue how to actually contact the people they’re claiming to support, much less get the money to them.  And some people will put out similar calls but with no intention of ever delivering the money to where it’s needed, putting up unnecessary barriers and hoops for victims to jump through.

Unlike one-shot crowdfunders, the Defence Fund:

To be honest, it’s frustrating for us to continue to operate in this fashion but see the bulk of donations to go fly-by-night crowdfunding pages that have no real accountability or transparency.  For example (and not to toot our own horn too loudly!), it is quite clear that everyone would have been better off if the DSA had turned the $200,000 it raised over to us for dispersal instead of deferring to ever-more-remote authorities and Byzantine councils, steering committees, and liberal intermediaries – none of whom have the experience with antifa support that we do.
All of which is to say that if you truly want to support people like B., it’s best to put your money into the Defence Fund, where we’re up-front about the decisions we make and can move fast.  You can start by making a contribution today, even!
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The Battle Of Richmond

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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.

Backing Patryk Again

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Patryk

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 happensThe 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.

 

September 2017 – Quarterly Report

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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!

 

 

 

Putting Our Lives On The Line

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Antifa in Portland, August 6, 2017

One of us recently got into an argument with a liberal that has lots of negative shit to say about the “macho dudes in their 20s who are in antifa because they love violence.”  We know those dudes in their 20s; hell, some of us are those dudes in our 20s!  So we are in positions of authority on this subject and can say with an extremely high degree of confidence that none of us love violent confrontations with murderous fascists.

We’d love to be like the liberals and pretend that a non-violent, pacifist position when dealing with the violent racist extremists that have so far murdered at least 28 people this year  is a superior moral position to take.  But we know that it really is a position of privilege.  If you don’t look like the sort of person that bigots would shoot while attending your place or worship  or stab to death while walking down the street or get beat unconscious while out walking your dog or intentionally drive a truck over, then you can afford to choose whatever moral high horse you want to ride into your ineffectual “resistance” of fascist violence.

But some of us don’t have that kind of privilege.  Bigots have been targeting people like us or like our friends and families and neighbors from the jump.  And some of us that do have that kind of privilege have voluntarily set it aside to put our bodies on the line to defend the people that fascists intend to victimize.  As Logan Rimel said in his essay about his experiences in Charlottesville, “You want to be nonviolent? That is good and noble…But I want you to understand what you’re asking of the people who take this necessary stance against white supremacy, the people who go to look evil in the face. You’re asking them to be beaten with brass knuckles, with bats, with fists. To be pounded into the ground, stomped on, and smashed. You’re asking them to bleed on the pavement and the grass. Some of them are going to die.” 

So it was in Portland a week before the racist terrorism of Charlottesville.  Only a handful of weeks after a self-proclaimed “free speech activist” and frequently attendee of alt right rallies stabbed two men to death on a Portland train and nearly killed a third, fascists held yet another rally in Portland.  And they came equipped with their usual weapons.  And like every other time before, some antifa stood up to them and put themselves directly in the line of fire.  So other people wouldn’t be in that line of fire.

This selfless act of community self-defense earned our side some lumps.  The Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers’ Collective logged multiple concussions, facial fractures, lacerations, contusions, and one dislocated knee among the community defenders.  Which in turn resulted in medical bills.  Which the Defence Fund was honored to help pay for.

If antifa weren’t willing to stand between armed genocidal racists and the rest of us, what do you think would happen?  If you’re not willing to stand with them, you should at least be willing to help them deal with the consequences that come with that level of courage.

Guess Who Got A Helicopter Ride?

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Taking care of some white supremacist trash at the AmRen “conference” in July.

Increasingly, white supremacists and fascists like to get all dressed-up and cosplay normal people at “conferences,” where they agree with each other about their own superiority and listen to people like violent ex-con/disgraced former Marine Nathan Damigo and (of course!) alt-right human punching bag and privilege poster boy Richard Spencer.

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Artist’s rendering of typical AmRen “conference” attendee.

 

But it doesn’t take much for these goons to show their true colors.  At the white racist “American Renaissance” (AmRen) conference in Burns, TN this past July, all it took was a large gathering of loud but entirely peaceful antifa for the wheels to come off of the Fash Respectabilitymobile.

Ohio neo-nazi William Markley, perhaps feeling a need to assert his dominance to distract from his other, glaring shortcomings, took it upon himself to charge at and attack one of the protestors.  Of course, not head-on; witnesses report Markley decided to “come running from behind swinging his arms.”

Unfortunately for Markley, he chose well-known anarchist thinker and area activist J.C. as the target for his violence.  J.C. knows how to handle himself.

Via eyewitness reports from It’sGoingDown:

“‘J. just threw down…Next thing I know, dude is sliding down the hill into the lake and the cops are running in. It was like the guy did a huge pile of cocaine and decided to fight all the antifa.’ J.C.’s act of self defense resulted in a few minor abrasions and an arrest for disorderly conduct. Markley on the other hand, had to be taken by helicopter to a Nashville hospital for a CT scan, and was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct as well.”

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William Markley, post-helicopter ride

“Although Alt-Right trolls have frequently targeted antifascists online, promising a Pinochet-inspired helicopter ride, none have had the capacity to take it to the meatspace and deliver. How bittersweet it must be for those righteous keyboard warriors to know that an antifascist provided one of their own with a ‘helicopter ride.’ To add insult to injury, antifascists collectivized a white nationalist flag which was used for a late-night fire. Let it be known: if racists come to Tennessee to stir shit, it will be expensive, y’all.”

 

J.C.’s clear-cut act of self-defense is turning out to be expensive for him as well, as he was subsequently charged with a misdemeanor that prosecutors soon threatened to blow up into aggravated assault charges.  Unlike the KKK members that literally stabbed anti-fascists in Anaheim, California last year or the neo-nazis who stabbed nine people in Sacramento a few months later or the alt-right clown that shot an antifa & IWW member at an anti-Milo event in Seattle this past January. Apparently, violence at clashes between racist extremists and the communities they terrorize is only criminal when people defend themselves against armed bigots.

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was pleased to help such a well-respected activist with the legal costs he’s facing defending himself in the courts after defending himself in the streets.

When Is Anti-Fascism Anti-Fascism?

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The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was established “to provide immediate support to anti-fascists and anti-racists anywhere in the world, whenever they found themselves in a difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate.”   The question faced by the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew recently was when does an action = an anti-fascist/anti-racist action?

We received requests for support from two individuals that had been charged with a) vandalizing a Donald Trump golf course; b) spray-painting the slogan “Your Heroes Murder” on a Vietnam War memorial and two police cars.  This lead to a lively discussion in the Decisions Crew about whether these actions were specifically anti-fascist/anti-racist enough to warrant tapping the Defence Fund.

On one hand, it was argued that these acts were acts of solidarity with marginalized groups that are underrepresented and under protected in an area with a long history of white supremacist activity.  But on the other hand, it was counter-argued that these acts were not specific enough to antifa activity and seemed more aligned with broader political objectives (e.g. anarchist/anti-war/anti-police).

In the end, we could not reach consensus and had to make the call via majority vote, with the majority of Decisions Crew members voting against.  It was a tough call, but it was also a good and important discussion.

Forza Charlottesville

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In the wake of the white supremacist terrorist attacks in Charlottesville this weekend which as of this writing have left one person dead and at least 19 others seriously injured, the anti-fascists and anti-racists that have bravely stood on the front lines and taken the brunt of the violence from both the racist terrorists and the police are going to need our help.

There will no doubt be dozens of crowdfunding campaigns and appeals for donations to help the victims of this weekend’s racist violence and heavy-handed police repression of anti-fascism and anti-racism in Charlottesville.  Most will be well-intentioned expressions of solidarity; some will be poorly thought-out or even deliberately deceptive and fraudulent.

We have three recommendations for those willing to support the arrested, the injured, and the families of the deceased:

1) Vet any crowdfunding campaign asking for your support carefully.  Make sure the crowdfunding campaign has a clear way to get the money raised to the anti-fascists and anti-racists who need it.  Are they in touch with the antifa, their families or friends, their doctors or lawyers?  Have any of the people the crowdfunder is going to support endorsed the crowdfunder?  Have they explained their relationship to those people?

2) Donate to crowdfunding campaigns run by credible anti-fascist groups.  We recommend the fund being endorsed by Seven Hills Antifa as one place to donate, given that Seven Hills is a recognized antifa crew and part of The Torch Antifa Network.  This legal defense fund should also be legitimate, as it’s been endorsed by Rose City Antifa, who are also part of The Torch.

3) Consider donating right here, to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund.  We’re an international fund run by over 400 anti-fascists in seventeen different countries, with a two-year track record of providing support to anti-fascists and anti-racists.  We report regularly on our activities and we’ve been endorsed by three different anti-fascists/anti-racist networks around the world.

If your send your donation with the message “Charlottesville,” we will earmark your donation to help those who have been hurt or arrested as a result of this weekend.

Help us show the brave, brave people in Charlottesville this weekend that we have their back!

FORZA CHARLOTTESVILLE!
ANTI-FASCISM = SELF-DEFENCE!
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON!

 

 

 

Bad Fascism Comes In Threes

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First: the racist extremists that attempted to hold a rally in Sacramento last summer assaulted and tried to stab Yvette Felarca when she showed up to clearly voice her opposition to their genocidal plans.  They failed to stop her.

Second: now that they had her name, bigoted trolls launched a massive online campaign to get her fired from her job as a school teacher; a campaign that included sending anonymous death threats against the school’s students.  Incredibly, the school board caved in to nazi trolls and did their bidding when they tried to suspend & discipline Yvette.  Yvette now had to fight against violent white supremacists and her own employer, who was now taking orders from anonymous terrorists.  She fought back and won full reinstatement to her job.

Third: Having failed to stab her to death; and having failed to get her fired through a terror campaign against her employer & her students, the fascist filth now have their buddies in law enforcement trying to take Yvette down by fabricating trumped-up charges against her.

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was there to support Yvette when she had to fight her own employer to prevent them from being the puppets of an anonymous racist terror campaign against her and her students.  So naturally, we weren’t going to let her face this new battle without having her back.  We’ve sent a contribution towards her legal defence and we encourage all people concerned about the rise of fascism and racism to do the same by donating a few bucks to her official crowdfunding page.

You can help us help the Yvettes of the world when they most need help by making a donation to the Defence Fund!

Real War Heroes Fight Fascism

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This one is particularly hard to write up, we we’re going to turn it over to Rob’s friend Justin:

“Rob Grodt grew-up in California and later moved to New York, where he worked as a journalist and welder. 

After hearing about the struggle of the Kurdish people in Rojava (Northern Syria) to resist Daesh (aka ISIS), he chose to put his own life on the line to help fight against them. In the spirit of the Spanish Civil War International Brigaders, he made his way to Rojava to lend his support to the liberation war against Daesh and to building a free, democratic, secular, multicultural autonomous state in Rojava. 

On July 6, Rob and several comrades were killed during a particularly fierce gun battle, taking back the Daesh caliphate’s capital of Raqqa in vicious street-by-street gunbattles. Twenty eight international volunteers have given their lives fighting alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) so far.”

In his final video message, Rob explains his reasons for traveling halfway around the world and risking his life to fight fascism.

Rob leaves behind his loving partner and their four-year-old daughter.  Rob’s friends have set up a crowdfunding page to put together a fund to help support his little girl.

Rob could have sat at home and done nothing.  Instead he gave his life defending his principles and doing his part to liberate the city of Raqqa from the black cloud of fascism.  Making sure his family is taken care of is the very least we can do for this hero.  In a thank-you note back to the Defence Fund, Rob’s friends wrote:  “Thank you very much for this generous donation comrades.  With your support, we will keep Rob’s memory alive and his daughter will grow up knowing how deeply loved and respected he was.”

ROB GRODT PRESENTE!
NEVER FORGET! NEVER FORGIVE!
BIJI BERXWEDANA ROJAVA!