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Sep 13, 17

Anti-Fascism Is Self-Defense: A General-Purpose Flier

In response to an epidemic of fascist rallies and recruitment drives around the US, we have prepared this general-purpose flier. You can mass-produce this to distribute at anti-fascist mobilizations and everywhere else it is necessary to explain the importance of confronting fascists.

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Anti-fascism means defending our communities from racists, xenophobes, homophobes, transphobes, and other bigots. Anti-fascist organizing requires no special skills. It isn’t limited to any one political identity.

Far-right groups don’t actually want dialogue. They aim to spread paranoia to escalate the ongoing violence against marginalized people. Anti-fascists aim to deny them any platform for doing this, even when fascists use code words instead of openly identifying themselves. The issue is not “free speech”—it is whether we stand idly by while they recruit for violent attacks.

We must confront the fascist menace. Organizing against them doesn’t make them stronger; fascists have gained momentum precisely because they’ve met so little opposition recently. Everyone must be free to decide for himself or herself how to go about resisting fascism. The far right claims that anti-fascists are the same as fascists because they meet force with force. But just as a firefighter is not a fire, an anti-fascist is not a fascist.

Police are part of the problem. They kill a thousand people every year; they imprison and deport millions, disproportionately targeting people of color, tearing apart families and communities. When police coordinate with racist militias to run security at far-right rallies, this is not an aberration, but an example of the normal relationship between police and fascists. The US government is already implementing the fascist agenda more effectively than a group like the KKK ever could.

Don’t count on a return to normal. It’s not clear yet how far things will go. It won’t help to call on the courts for assistance; any power we give the government can end up in the hands of fascists. We need to establish bonds of solidarity across difference, learn to care for each other, and build the infrastructure we need to live and fight as the political crisis deepens.

Anti-fascism means more than fighting in the street. It is an orientation toward life, a practice of collective resistance. It entails raising children to be compassionate, confronting racism in our neighborhoods, and sabotaging the efforts of far-right organizations. The stakes are high. To avoid acting is not only irresponsible, but dangerous. This is why we say: Anti-fascism is self-defense.

Further Resources for Fighting Fascism

Why We Fought in Charlottesville: A Letter from an Anti-Fascist

Squaring off against Fascism: Critical Reflections from the Front Lines

Not Your Grandfather’s Anti-Fascism: Anti-Fascism Has Arrived, Here’s Where It Needs to Go

The Ex-Worker Podcast, episode 11: Fascism and Anti-Fascism

The Ex-Worker Podcast, episode 12: Anti-Fascist History

The Ex-Worker Podcast, episode 56: Charlottesville

The Ex-Worker Podcast, episode 58: Not Your Grandparents’ Anti-Fascism

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Crimethink is everything that evades control: the daydream in the classroom, the renegade breaking ranks, the spray-painted walls that continue to speak even under martial law. It is the persistent sense that things could be otherwise, that there is nothing natural or inevitable about the prevailing social order. In a world optimized for administration, everything that cannot be classified or displayed on a screen is crimethink. It is the spirit of rebellion without which freedom is literally unthinkable.

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