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Apr 11, 17

Announcing Haymaker: Popular Fitness and Self-Defense in Chicago

On April 11th, 2017, an IndieGoGo crowd source fundraiser for Haymaker: Popular Fitness and Self-Defense was launched. Haymaker is an experiment in autonomous and antifascist fitness that will provide free and/or low-cost self-defense training to those in Chicago most threatened by the recent surge in far-right attacks. In addition, Haymaker will house a food pantry and community event space. We ask anarchists, autonomists, and antifascists across so-called North America to join our campaign thus turning our experimental vision into a powerful reality. We understand that most of you are using your resources for local projects,
but we also find that we are all stronger when we come together and have each other’s backs, so we hope you will share and contribute to Haymaker’s campaign.

We are anarchists, queers, and autonomists associated with Breakaway Autonomous Social Center and Blood Fruit Print Works on the southwest side of Chicago.

From the Jewish Berlin Boxing Club that rose up under Hitler and the centers for physical culture of the Indian Independence Movement to the archipelago of anti-fascist gyms across Europe today, our project fits within a rich history of physical self-defense against fascist attacks. As our movement grows in strength, so too do our enemies, who we must
learn to overcome as quickly as they arise. To build the capacity to defend and attack means reclaiming the conditions of our existence, our safety in the street – “the public sphere” that liberals believe they are protecting when the allow white supremacy to speak.

As organizers, we believe in Autonomy, Strength, and Solidarity. Because we believe in autonomy, we know that we must learn to fight our enemies without relying on institutions of bourgeois class domination and heteronormative gym culture. We must learn to fight for ourselves. Because we believe in strength,we know that we must be stronger than those who would see us dead and that we must be unafraid as we become a force capable not only of self-defense but of social transformation. We will no longer be told we are weak and powerless. Because we believe in solidarity, we know that our personal transformation is at once collective transformation and that an injury to one is indeed an injury to all. We will learn to fight together.

With your help, we will be able to put a down payment on a gym facility, purchase quality exercise and martial arts equipment, pay our trainers a fair wage for their services, and pay the state for licensing and insurance to keep us out of hot water while we strengthen our autonomous networks.

With your help, we will open our doors to all who will not back down from the fight ahead.


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