Action 3: March and Mobilize
3A. Join rallies and marches
Canada’s leading hate crimes researcher, Dr. Barbara Perry, said that rallying, marching, and counter-protesting in big numbers are the simplest and safest ways to demoralize and demobilize fascists. Bring family, friends, and co-workers. Establish a network. Rely on each other. Win!
3B. Take away their “Safe Spaces”
Share, post, sticker, and poster your city with anti-hate, multiculturalist, pluralist, and anti-fascist messages. It’s another easy way to demoralize and demobilize fascists while promoting the world you want.
One hate group used a Royal Canadian Legion hall in Grande Prairie, Alberta. But the Legion’s members literally went to war to kill the fascists who’d conquered Europe, so once good people alerted the Legion, the Legion acted quickly.
3C. Hijack their efforts
It’s fun to laugh at fascists. It certainly demoralizes them. What if you could laugh and raise money for good at the same time?
3D. Organize workers, neighbours, and other people in your communities
Share information everywhere you go with posters, pamphlets, stickers, posters, and urls. Talk with people—you could even start or join a door-to-door campaign. Explain the threat and also what you can build together: a better community and a better world. Give them this url and others and encourage them to try one short-term, one medium-term, and one long-term action.
If you live in Canada, encourage people to vote by explaining what’s at stake. Organize people to vote at advance polls. Drive them if you can. If you live in the US, help them register, too.
3E. Organize to make your union adopt counter-fascist resolutions and support and create their own counter-fascist work
Start a subcommittee in your union to teach about the fascist threat and what workers can gain when they’re together. Teach members strategies for responding to fascists trying to recruit, harass, or intimidate people at work or outside.
Need some inspiration?
Miriam Lafontaine writes, “People are really disillusioned with the status quo, and the only other alternative they have is the far-right,’ [said Montreal Industrial Workers of the World delegate Éric Default]. ‘The far-left doesn’t really talk much to working class people, especially in the countryside.’
“Soon after establishing itself, the Twin Cities defence committee infiltrated and disrupted a secret event by Holocaust denier David Irving, and then organized to disrupt a Confederate flag event….
“The [General Defense Committee] also aims to defend the people who get arrested in anti-fascist demonstrations by giving financial and moral support, with the goal of alleviating the repression of anti-fascism.
“The General Defense Committee of IWW Toronto works along similar lines, by raising legal funds for people who’ve been caught up in arrests following anti-fascist demonstrations, and by showing solidarity with them. This could mean things like driving activists to court or coming with them to testify.
“‘Part of the clearer rationale was to establish faith and credit with groups that may have bad impressions of unions, or prioritize other forms of work, and to bring a more diverse group of fellow workers into the IWW,’ said Erik D, Secretary of the Twin Cities IWW GDC, to Libcom in a 2016 interview.
“The Twin Cities GDC has stressed the importance in unions leading the anti-fascist fight because small affinity groups on their own won’t be able to end fascism and authoritarian far-right movements. That’s a sentiment that Default agrees with, stressing that labour unions should be used to facilitate a mass movement against fascism and the far-right, since most people are hesitant to support the use of violent or illegal tactics.
Journalist Nora Loreto writes, “Too much of organized labour has forgotten that the primary role of unions goes far beyond dues-paying members. That people power manifests in various ways, but none so powerful, resourced and broad as the labour movement.
“Trade unionists should be arm-in-arm with Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist organizations. They should be supplying advice and tools to topple monuments. They should co-ordinate food, sound systems and a political analysis that cuts through the right-wing, divisive rhetoric that has seemingly confused some among the working class.
“In Canada, where union density remains much higher, at almost 30 per cent, the responsibility that trade unionists have is even greater. They should be linking arms with the thousands of newly arrived refugees, helping with relief efforts and volunteering their resources and time. They should be paying for anti-racist organizers. They should be boosting these messages in the mainstream press.”
3F. Start your own counter-fascist group
But how? Here’s one way. Find others, too, and read how they work: “The grunt work of antifascism: Despite what the mainstream media likes to show, antifa isn’t all fighting and doxxing”
And learn the reality instead of the FOX-style lies about the people on the front lines of fighting fascism, from an academic who studied them and their history.
Read Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook
“Bray’s book is many things: the first English-language transnational history of antifa, a how-to for would-be activists, and a record of advice from anti-Fascist organizers past and present … Focused and persuasive.” — Daniel Penny, The New Yorker
“The book that strikes fear in the heart of Donald Trump.” —Rep. Keith Ellison
“In the Trump era, Bray’s Handbook is essential reading.” —The Progressive
“Antifa is written from a commendable place of engagement and provides a serviceable genealogy for militant anti-fascism in the present, and Bray’s often well-reasoned defense of controversial tactics should and will make the critics reflect. The book is at its best when criticizing the liberal view that official democratic institutions alone are sufficient to prevent a fascist seizure of power.” —LA Review of Books
“Arrives as a timely and thoroughly researched primer on the movement’s philosophy and tactics… readers of Antifa can be assured of gaining insight on an increasingly visible and misunderstood group looking to keep the genocidal past from repeating.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Bray rightly highlights the genuinely disturbing rise of the fascist ghost and the strategies (from singing over speeches to more ‘direct action’) Antifa uses.” —Sydney Morning Herald
“We would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the antifascists who approached, over 300, 350 antifascists.” —Dr. Cornel West, on Charlottesville
“In the wake of tragic events in Charlottesville, VA, and Donald Trump’s initial refusal to denounce the white nationalists behind it all, the ‘antifa’ opposition movement is suddenly appearing everywhere. But what is it, precisely? And where did it come from?
“As long as there has been fascism, there has been anti-fascism — also known as ‘antifa.’ Born out of resistance to Mussolini and Hitler in Europe during the 1920s and ’30s, the antifa movement has suddenly burst into the headlines amidst opposition to the Trump administration and the alt-right. They could be seen in news reports, often clad all in black with balaclavas covering their faces, fighting police at the presidential inauguration, on California college campuses protesting right-wing speakers, and, most recently, on the streets of Charlottesville, VA, protecting, among others, a group of ministers including Cornel West from neo-Nazi violence. (West would later tell reporters, ‘The anti-fascists saved our lives.’)
“Simply, antifa aims to deny fascists the opportunity to promote their oppressive politics, and to protect tolerant communities from acts of violence promulgated by fascists. Critics say shutting down political adversaries is anti-democratic; antifa adherents argue that the horrors of fascism must never be allowed the slightest chance to triumph again.
“In a smart and gripping investigation, historian and former Occupy Wall Street organizer Mark Bray provides a detailed survey of the full history of anti-fascism from its origins to the present day — the first transnational history of postwar anti-fascism in English. Based on interviews with anti-fascists from around the world, Antifa details the tactics of the movement and the philosophy behind it, offering insight into the growing but little-understood resistance fighting back against fascism in all its guises.”
3G. Learn how the first targets of fascism fought and would have won if they hadn’t been sold-out
“The shocking images of neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the summer of 2017 linger, but so do those of the passionate anti-fascist protestors who risked their lives to do the right thing. In this stirring graphic non-fiction book by the author of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, Gord Hill looks at the history of fascism over the last 100 years, and the concurrent antifa movements that have worked fastidiously to topple it.
“Fascism is a relatively new political ideology, yet in its short history some of the greatest atrocities against humanity have been carried out in its name. Its poisonous roots have taken hold in every region of the world, from its beginnings in post-World War I Italy, through Nazi Germany, Franco's Spain, and the KKK in America. And today, emboldened by the American president, fascism is alive and well again. At the same time, antifa activists have proven, throughout history and again today, that the spirit of resistance is alive and well, and necessary.
“In The Antifa Comic Book, Gord Hill documents these powerful moments of conflict and confrontation with a perceptive eye and a powerful sense of resolve. Full-colour throughout. Includes a foreword by Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.”