In 2007, Jock Palfreeman was an Australian national backpacking through Europe. In Sofia, Jock witnessed a gang of nazi hooligans attacking two Roma boys and stepped in to defend the two. Jock was quickly forced to defend himself and survived the attack, but one of the nazis did not and Jock was charged with his murder. In the sham trial that followed (where the state witheld video evidence that would have proven his claims of self-defence and exonerated him., Jock was wrongly convicted of the crime and sentenced 20 years in jail.
While unjustly imprisoned, Jock continued to maintain his innocence. He also learned Bulgarian and founded the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Assocation, the country’s first human rights advocacy for prisoners.
In 2019, Jock was suddenly released from prison after serving 12 years. The Bulgarian authorities seized his passport and refused to let him leave the country, then subjected him to a court appeal of his release. Jock beat that unconstitutional attempt to re-convict him on charges the evidence shows he was innocent of.
Not content to admit defeat, the Bulgarian authorities are now trying to expel and ban him from not just Bulgaria, but the EU altogether, based on Jock’s 2009 sham murder conviction. Once again, Jock is forced to defend himself – this time in an EU court. We stood with Jock while he served his prison sentence; we helped him get back on his feet when he was released; and now the Defence Fund is helping him hire the best legal defence team available to fight the expulsion attempt.
If there’s one things fascists like, it’s controlling and dominating women. Misogyny has always been a key component of fascism. So it comes as no surprise to hear that members of the Germany’s fascist AfD party joined religious zealots in a 2019 Berlin march against the right of women to control their own bodies. Likewise, it comes as no surprise that hundreds of anti-fascists and feminists took to the streets to shut them the fuck down, which they accomplished handily!
Finally & if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ll also not be surprised that the Berlin police sided with the fascists and laid charges against 100 of the feminist counter-demonstrators. Those 100 people – who stopped neo-nazis from marching in Berlin – have had charges hanging over their heads for nearly two years now.
They’ve set up a crowdfunder to raise money for their legal defence against these charges and the Defence Fund was very happy to help them reach their fundraising goal!
Show us an anti-choice religious extremist and we’ll show you a fascist close by. Show us some fascists and we’ll be able to point you to bigots hiding behind their god(s) to justify their misogyny right there, too. Show us feminists standing up against misogyny and patriarchy and we’ll show you antifascists standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them. To be an anti-fascist = to be a feminist. To be a feminist = to be an anti-fascist.
A lot has happened after the attempted insurrection in Washington, DC on January 6th to show exactly who the legal system is concerned with and who they’re not concerned with.
NOT CONCERNED WITH: people who attempted to stop the verification of the 2020 election vote and overthrow the government by storming the capitol, forcing elected officials to flee for their lives. People like Adam Johnson, pistol packin’ Christopher Alberts, Joshua Pruitt, or would-be vacationer Jenny Louise Cudd – all of whom have been charged for the events of January 6th – have since been released on bail. The message is clear: a murderous right-wing mob can try to overthrow the government, beating a cop to death in the process, and they’ll be back out on the streets pending trial.
Then there’s our man Dan Baker, who the FBI picked up and charged after he expressed concerns for a repeat of the January 6 attacks happening at the Florida state capitol. Dan is a former Airborne soldier and former volunteer with the YPG in Rojava, where he fought Daesh/ISIS alongside US forces. He’s also a street medic who was one of the first on the scene to treat people injured in shootings in Seattle this summer. He’s done outreach and support work for homeless people around the country. He put himself in harm’s way to stop the fascists in Daesh from murdering people. If anyone deserves our accolades and support, it’s Dan. Yet, thanks to an FBI attempt to railroad an anti-fascist, Dan currently sits in jail, WITHOUT BAIL BEING GRANTED, waiting on his trial date.
This is why the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund sent Dan’s supporters funds to help make sure he’s taken care of and has a place to return to when he beats the charges. We think you should do the same by sending some help via Venmo/Paypal @echampagneart or Cashapp $echampagneart. No money to donate but you have a printer? Download this flyer about Dan and get it out there!
Leipzig, Germany has a neo-nazi problem. The International Violent Hate Crimes Research Project documented enough violent attacks by neo-nazis and the far right in that small city in 2020 to mark it as one of worst cities in Europe for right wing extremist violence. Obviously, this is a grave public safety emergency that most people would think the police would devote themselves to tackling.
Instead, what do the police do? They launch a series of raids of people’s homes and round up a group of anti-fascists – the very people who are actually defending the people of Leipzig from this wave of fascist violence! It’s almost as if the police are on the side of the fascists or something! (If you’ve been reading this blog or following the Defence Fund for any length of time, we’re certain that you are shocked – SHOCKED! – at such an allegation.)
Now the LKA police have dreamed up an imaginary elite antifa terror squad that have been allegedly roaming Leipzig and attacking innocent right wing extremists. The kkkops pinning this mythical scheme on a 25-year-old woman as the “ringleader/puppet master.” Now Lina finds herself having to fight for her very freedom as the state attempts to lock her up because she opposes fascism.
One thing we’ve seen time and time again at protests in 2020 is how appreciated and respected volunteer street medics are to the protestors they’re caring for and on, several occasions, saving the lives of. Another thing we’ve seen time and time again at protests in 2020 is how much cops hate volunteer street medics and how often they’ll single them out for violence and abuse. It’s so bad, in fact, that Human Rights Watch has written a report about U.S. police attacking volunteer street medics, often while they’re in the middle of performing life-saving first aid.
We don’t know if that’s what happened when W. – a familiar sight at various protests in the Pacific North West as a volunteer street medic – was hit in the head with a flashbang grenade in Olympia earlier this month. But we do know who is likely to bring flashbangs to a protest and we do know who likes to try to take off people’s heads with them. We also know that this particular flashbang did some serious damage to W., leaving him with burns on his head and a completely obliterated eardrum.
W. now needs to raise several thousand dollars for reconstructive ear surgery to restore his hearing. We were not about to let him have to scrape the funds together on his own so The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund was happy to show our gratitude to street medics like him by making a significant donation to his crowdfunder. Our friend literally volunteers his time and skill set by putting himself in the line of fire to save people who have been badly hurt – we all need to show W. and street medics like him that we have their backs when things go the other way for them.
It should then come as no surprise that those fighting for racial justice by in the streets take threats they receive very seriously. So when people made threats to shoot up and drive cars through a Black Lives Matter protest in Colorado Springs, Co. in August, some BLM protestors came armed.
So you can imagine Sherrie’s surprise a month later when, after attending the protest and making sure everyone was safe, she was sitting at home with her three kids only to have a SWAT team storm her home, hold her children at gunpoint, and take her away in handcuffs, charging her with “riot” and weapons offences that she is plainly innocent of.
Being an antifascist can be scary at times. We literally put ourselves in harm’s way when confronting fascists & their kkkop pals. Every time we go out in the streets, we hope that nothing terrible happens to us or to our comrades.
Happily, David has done his time and is being released from prison this week! However, he’s coming home to a world dramatically transformed by COVID-19, which, when added to the barriers of being a paroled felon, are going to make it super-challenging for him to get back on his feet.
The Iuventais a rescue ship that’s been operating in the Mediterranean Sea since 2016. During those four years it save saved the lives of over 14,000 refugees risking their lives to find safe haven by traversing the deadliest border in the world.
Italy has taken the position that saving refugees from drowning is a criminal act and has seized the Iuventa and launched an absurd investigation into the crew for “people smuggling.” The Iuventa 10now face criminal prosecution in Italy on charges that could lead to 20-year prison sentences if convicted.
We can think of fewer actions that more closely embody the values of anti-fascism than to literally save the lives of thousands of refugees. We are honoured that we were able to make a donation tothe legal defence of these 10 antifa sailors and we encourage everyone who believes that the value of human lives transcends borders to do the same.
While the Defence Fund’s Decisions Crew was discussing this case, the post-election situation in Belarus transformed into a full-scale rebellion against that country’s autocrat. The state’s response has been mass arrests, kidnappings, and brutal violence. Anarchist Black Cross Belarus made a call for support for the legal defence of those detained/arrested and The Defence Fund was one of the first organizations to respond with a large contribution.
Wien’s finest, protecting & serving fascists by shutting down anti-fascists while allowing fascists to publicly march in the streets.
The gif of the incident tells the entire story – a fascist goon in Wien chooses a much smaller anti-fascist as his target at an anti-fascist rally and aggressively goes after them, not anticipating that the antifa would effectively defend themselves with a decent left hook! Anyone can see who the aggressor is here and who was defending themselves. But of course that wasn’t good enough for the police, who charged the anti-fascist for failing to leave the scene before being attacked! And it apparently wasn’t good enough for the courts, either, who convicted our friend!
If you’ve been following our activities, this shouldn’t come as any surprise – the police and the courts seem to think their role is to prosecute anti-fascists while enabling fascist violence – that is when the police aren’t directly involved in attacking antifa themselves. Does that sound hyperbolic to you? Take a look at this list of police attempts to harm anti-fascists we published two years ago. Or ask yourself: when is the last time you heard of the police tear-gassing or pepper-spraying or firing rubber bullets at or beating fascists like the KKK or the Proud Boys, etc.?
So our friend in Wien – who now is faced with paying heavy fines and legal costs for the “crime” of defending themselves against a fascist clearly bent on attacking them – isn’t the first anti-fascist criminalized by a legal system hell-bent on facilitating fascist violence and they won’t be the last. But we’re here to support our friends whenever they are attacked – by fascists without badges or by fascists with badges – for as long as we have funds available to do so. Please make sure we’re always around to do this work and stand in solidarity with anti-fascists criminalized by the courts by making a contribution today.
We’re all quite certain the prosecutor’s intent was to have our friend plead down to a lesser sentence, pay a simple fine, and be done with it. What they didn’t account for our our friend’s determination to not allow the German state to criminalize antifascism and solidarity with the Kurdish people and the revolution they are fighting for in Rojava. So instead of accepting a plea deal, he demanded a trial, and we helped to make sure he had all the legal resources he needed to mount an effective case in court.
How effective a case? We got the news yesterday: the judge threw out all the charges against our friend and acquitted him!
Because our friend had all the legal resources he needed to make his case, he’s walked free and the attempts by the state to make support for antifascism and the Rojava revolution a crime have failed. Because we were able to provide him with a chunk of the necessary funds, he had those legal resources to fight his case and win.
So if you have ever contributed to the Defence Fund, please know that this victory is also your victory.