Anti-Racist Action


Anti-Racist Action

The Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) is a decentralized network of militant anti-fascist and anti-racists in North America. ARA activists organize actions to disrupt neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, and help organize activities combatting fascist and racist ideologies. ARA groups also oppose sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, and anti-abortion activists. Some ARA groups have been associated with the skinhead and punk subcultures, and have worked with organizations such as Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP).

United States

Anti-Racist Action was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the late 1980s by members of the militant anti-fascist skinhead group The Minneapolis Baldies and other activists. [ [http://articles.citypages.com/2008-02-20/feature/skinheads-at-forty Skinheads at Forty - City Pages (Minneapolis/St. Paul) ] ] ARA then expanded to several communities in the United States and Canada. Members of Love and Rage, a revolutionary anarchist organization played a major role in building ARA groups and the ARA Network in the 1990s.fact|date=August 2008

On July 4, 1998, two Las Vegas ARA members, Daniel Shersty and Lin Newborn, were murdered execution-style by neo-Nazis [ [http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=246 Racist Skinheads - Nazi Skinhead gets death in murder of antiracists] ] in the desert outside Las Vegas. Shot at close range with a shotgun, they were found murdered in an area of the desert known to be used by white supremacists for target practice. [cite web | last = Schoenmann | first = Joe | title = Anti-racist Skinheads Killed | url= http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1998/Jul-07-Tue-1998/news/7803860.html | accessdate = 2007-03-02 ]

On August 24, 2002, a large neo-Nazi demonstration was planned in Washington, D.C. Some groups of neo-Nazis were planning to take a bus from the Baltimore Travel Plaza to Washington. Also present at the Travel Plaza were a number of ARA affiliates (mostly Baltimore punk rock fans and activists) demonstrating against the neo-Nazis. In the confusion and melee that resulted, 28 of the ARA activists were cornered by Baltimore City Police and arrested. Within about 36 hours, most had been released from jail. Many claimed that they were not properly informed about any crime they had allegedly committed until their release, if informed at all. The group became known as the "Baltimore 28", "Parking Lot 28", "Baltimore Anti-Racist 28" or the "Anti Racist 28". At many following local punk concerts, donations were raised for a legal defense fund, and to pay back borrowed bail money. The resulting charges to 26 of the 28 included inciting a riot, malicious destruction of property, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct. The charges were eventually dropped. One of the 28 was not charged with any crimes due to her status as a minor.

On October 15, 2005, ARA activists played a strong role in Toledo, disrupting the National Socialist Movement's planned march to protest gang activity in the north end of Toledo, Ohio.fact|date=August 2008 The incident became known as the 2005 Toledo Riot.

On August 26, 2006, Midwest ARA activists lead a black bloc and confrontation against the National Socialist Movement's rally against immigration on the steps of the capital in Madison, Wisconsin.fact|date=August 2008

Canada

In Canada, ARA members were involved in several violent incidents in the 1990s, including a 1993 brawl on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, during which anti-racist protesters were attacked by members of the Heritage Front. Several Heritage Front members, including former RaHoWa lead singer George Burdi, were arrested. ARA staged a subsequent protest in Toronto on June 11, 1993 outside the rented house of Heritage Front spokesman Gary Schipper. During the protest, several individuals smashed windows and threw objects into the house. Following this event, members of the Heritage Front, including its leader, Wolfgang Droege, attacked members of ARA outside of Sneaky Dee's, resulting in the arrest and conviction of Droege and several of his associates for aggravated assault.

On September 12, 2004, Toronto ARA-organized counter-protesters followed supporters of Ernst Zündel to a restaurant after a "Free Zündel" rally at the Metro West Detention Centre in Etobicoke, where Zündel was being held on a security certificate. Four anti-racists and five Ernst Zündel supporters were arrested that day. Richard Portree was discharged and given 15 hours of community service for using his steel-tipped cane and a shard of glass as weapons. Tomasz Winnicki and Jason King were charged for possession of a bow (and arrows), body armour and throwing knives. They pled guilty on November 23, 2006 and received six months probation. They were to be given back the bow and body armour, but the throwing knives and arrows are to be destroyed. The four anti-racists were charged with mischief and being a common nuisance as the result of a fracas with individuals the police described as "neo-Nazis" at a suburban restaurant. The anti-racists have either pleaded guilty to the mischief charge and have been discharged or have had the charges withdrawn. [ [http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/oncj/2006/2006oncj54.html CanLII - 2006 ONCJ 54 (CanLII) ] ]

Notable members

* Shane Martinez
* Lin Newborn
* Alicia Reckzin
* Marcell Rodden

ee also

* Anti-fascism
* Anti-Fascist Action
* Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice
* Militant anti-fascism
* Red and Anarchist Skinheads

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.antiracistaction.us/ ARA official website]
* [http://www.aratoronto.org Anti-Racist Action Toronto]
* [http://www.myspace.com/araquebec Anti-Racist Action/Action Anti Raciste Québec city]
* [http://struggleforpalestine.blogspot.com/ Anti-Racist Action Detroit]


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