Located on unceded Lkwungen Territory, the Victoria Anarchist Bookfair opens a space for anarchist literature, art & praxis. This year, some local antifas heard good things about the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund by word of mouth, and upon further research, were inspired by the Fund’s bold solidarity to have a fundraising table for it at the bookfair.
We scored some sweet swag from their fundrazr page and they included some bonus anti-fascist literature, all of which we offered by donation at our table. We also distributed a brief antifa pamphlet we made with some introductory info and local updates. Our table was very well received, with many people from near and far stopping by to chat and donate to the Defence Fund.
Last year, some trolls in MAGA hats attempted to enter the bookfair and film people without their consent, and the Soldiers of Odin made online threats to the event. Nevertheless, this year’s bookfair was well attended by a lively diversity of people, and there was no visible fascist threat or presence. A highlight of the event was a workshop titled Detoxifying Antifascism, which was introduced with the following text in the bookfair program zine:
As fascism becomes more mainstream, antifascism has been transitioning into a new era which has brought challenges and opportunities to a growing movement. We’ll talk about how we can grow our praxis to reassert a commitment to disrupting white supremacy, patriarchy, and ableism in our spaces, and in what ways incorporating an inclusive, feminist analysis changes the very roots of our approach to stopping fascists and fascism. We’ll discuss how this has been reflected in a changing activism style across the US and the world, as well as ways in moving forward we can create a healthier, more sustainable movement that strengthens our resilience and commitment to each other as well as the cause.
Check out this link for some important recent updates from the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund!
Finally, a few thoughts on anti-fascism as it relates to extractive industries (adapted from this post):
The Yellow Vests movement originating in France has been appropriated by far-right/alt-right/fascist elements in Canada, and has issued death threats against Muslims. Yellow Vests made up the bulk of the ostensibly pro-pipeline “United We Roll” convoy from Alberta to Ottawa in February 2019, where the leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada and People’s Party of Canada spoke alongside white nationalist Faith Goldy, and Conservative Senator David Tkachuk called upon the truck drivers to “roll over every liberal left in the country.”
Fascist supporters of the convoy included Christopher Hayes of Soldiers of Odin and Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI). Dan Dubois, leader of the Canadian Combat Coalition, led the convoy at points along the route. Ontario Premier Doug Ford gave supportive public messages to the Yellow Vest convoy along the way, as did United Conservative Party of Alberta leader (now Alberta Premier) Jason Kenney.
The convoy was confronted and outnumbered by a counter-rally organized by Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa and Ottawa Against Fascism. Under the banner Stand Up for Land Defenders, the counter-rally drowned out Yellow Vests speakers with chants of “Nazi Scum off Our Streets!” Predictably, police organized to protect the fascists from the Indigenous and antifa rally.
Indigenous counter-protesters like Wolf Tabobondung of Wasauksing First Nation point out that the extractive projects and pipelines that the Yellow Vests are promoting are being carried out on Indigenous lands and imposed on Indigenous communities. Often these are unceded lands, that the state and corporations have no standing over, and in other cases are happening in violation of treaties. These are significant matters that connect issues of resource extraction, industrial development, statist “nation building,” and fascist mobilization (including against Indigenous communities).