Late last month, The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund had to consider two requests for support. One (the “tough call”) was from an anti-fascist in Ohio that had their home searched by the cops in response to allegedly threatening tweets they had made about Donald Trump. The cops found a box of ammunition and have charged the person in question with being a felon in possession of ammunition.
There was no question as to this person’s antifa credentials, but what caused the 700+ members of the Decisions Crew (the body that discusses & decides what action to take whenever we receive a request for support) to hesitate was whether this specific incident was clearly related on anti-fascist work. On one hand, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see Donald Trump as anything but a fascist. On the other hand, the arrest was possession of ammunition and not about anti-fascist work itself.
The case seemed very close to one we dealt with about two years ago, where people had been accused of vandalized a Trump golf course. In that case, we had a very spirited discussion but decided in the end (via majority vote) that the actions were not specifically anti-fascist enough to meet the Defence Fund’s mandate and we declined to provide material support. So was the case with our friend in Ohio.
A much more clear-cut request (the “easy call”) came from Hamilton, Canada, where antifa had intercepted a group of homophobic hate preachers and right wing extremists on their way to fuck with a Pride event in a public park. Armed with a 15-foot-tall mobile black curtain, our heroes managed to block the view of the haters from the LGBTQ+ people they were targeting for harassment. This of course infuriated the bigots, who then physically attacked the antifascists several times while police blithely looked on (when one bystander asked why a cop why they weren’t intervening, the cop reportedly said “don’t you remember? You didn’t want us to be invited to Pride!” This has led to lots of people people putting “POLICE NOT INVITED” signs on their doors, since, like vampires, the police apparently have to be invited in before they can do their thing!).
The police took a lot of public heat for failing to step in and after a day or two began making arrests – OF QUEER/ANTIFA PEOPLE WHO DEFENDED PRIDE!!! Their first arrest was Cedar – a well-known transgender woman, anarchist, and anti-fascist. Claiming that Cedar violated parole by attending “a violent event,” police arrested them at a public meeting days later where Cedar openly criticized the cops. Important to note: CEDAR WASN’T ANYWHERE NEAR THE PRIDE EVENT IN QUESTION! That will come out in court days or weeks from now but in the meantime Cedar sits in jail, on a hunger strike.
We were asked to help come up with money to bail Cedar out and get them proper legal representation and we have done so without hesitation. Meanwhile, cops have continued to arrest queer/antifa Pride defenders as well as people that have publicly protested to criticize their actions & the collusion of Hamilton’s mayor. So the fallout is nowhere near over. Which means that we’ll be counting on you, dear reader, to help us support these antifa & the antifa that will surely face consequences defending their communities from the fascist attacks to come. Take 30 seconds and make a donation to the Defence Fund today.