Filed under: Anti-fascist, British Columbia, Editorials
From Vancouver Antifa
On New Years of 2016/2017, artists and organisers in the Anarchist space ’38 Blood Alley’ were attacked with bear spray as they were setting up for a New Years Eve party. Vancouver Antifa and the folks at Blood Alley are still in the process of confirming who the attackers were, but a post on our page from a member of the Soldiers of Odin (S.O.O.) leads us to believe that they are responsible for this uncalled for violence. The people who were present during this totally unprovoked assault are working on their own report of what happened and we don’t want to make assumptions so we leave the report of the actual events to them; however, we want to state our thoughts regarding the implications of this escalation by organised, right-wing groups.
38 Blood Alley has offered their space in solidarity, facilitating our organising. While we are allies, Blood Alley is a social space venue used by several different communities. The targeting of Blood Alley has resulted in unaffiliated people being harmed for our anti-fascist, anti-racist activities. We want to clearly state that 38 Blood Alley and the events hosted there, unless specifically stated, have no direct connection to Vancouver Antifa, nor did any of the people who were attacked.
Fascist, White Supremacist and Militant Anti-Islamic groups have become increasingly public in their organising and presence in the Lower Mainland over the last year. In response to this, folks have come together to start a conversation around Anti-fascist organising and how to protect ourselves and other members of vulnerable communities who share our concerns. We hosted three public rallies over the last few months, and were asked to support other anti-racist organising such as the anti-racism demo in Richmond. Obviously we don’t condemn the use of force in self-defence against fascist groups, but we have not physically attacked anyone. We demonstrate our opposition to these groups in order to publicly support marginalised groups. We view the attack on Blood Alley as exemplifying these organisations’ violent tendencies. It proves they have no qualms attacking folks who have any form of association with those of us opposing open fascist and racist organising.
This statement is intended to serve as a warning to all those organising in DIY spaces, around anti-racist causes and in any perceived “leftist” spaces that at least one of these groups have now demonstrated their willingness to use violent tactics in response to public opposition to their bullshit. We believe our safety and our strength is in solidarity against all the incarnations of this threat and we look forward to meeting everyone who feels the same. To get in touch email us at vanantifa[at]riseup[dot]net.