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Anti-racist action

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ARA Logo, featuring a masked anarchist smashing a swastika

Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) is a decentralized network of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists. ARA activists organize actions to disrupt neo-nazi and white supremacist groups and help to organize resistance mainly to fascist and racist ideologies. ARA groups also oppose sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, and anti-abortion activists. They are sometimes seen to be "Red" or Communist, particularly by detractors, however, the network includes a large number of anarchists.


ARA started in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1987. Since then it has expanded to different communities, countries and continents.

Members of Love and Rage, a revolutionary anarchist organization played a major role in building ARA groups and the ARA Network in the 1990s. They are sometimes associated with the Skinhead and Punk subcultures and work with organizations such as Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP).

In Canada, they were involved in a number of violent incidents in the 1990s which included a 1993 brawl on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with members of the Neo-Nazi Heritage Front in which several Heritage Front members, including RaHoWa lead singer George Burdi, were arrested.


The ARA staged a subsequent protest in Toronto outside the rented house of Heritage Front spokesman Gary Schipper. During the protest, several individuals allegedly entered Schipper's house and proceeded to vandalise the home, allegedly causing approximately $20,000 in property damage. Following this event members of the Heritage Front, including its leader, Wolfgang Droege, attacked members of ARA outside of a Toronto pub resulting in the arrest and conviction of Droege and several of his associates for aggravated assault.

Dan and "Spit"[edit]

On July 4, 1998, two Las Vegas ARA members - Daniel Shersty and Lin Newborn were murdered by Neo-Nazis 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.

Baltimore 28[edit]

On August 24, 2002, a large Neo-nazi demonstration was planned in Washington, D.C. Some groups of Neo-nazis were planning to take the 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 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 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 shows, donations were taken in their name 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. One of the 28 was not charged with any crimes due to her status as a minor. The charges were eventually dropped due to a profound lack of evidence.

Zündel opposition[edit]

On September 12 2004, an ARA organized protest in Toronto followed supporters of Ernst Zündel to Jack Astor's restaurant at 1900 The Queensway from a "Free Zündel" rally that took place at the Metro West Detention Centre in Etobicoke where Zündel was being held on a security certificate. Four anti-racists and five Zündel supporters were arrested that day. Weapons charges against the Zündel supporters are still before the courts, including those against Tomasz Winnicki and Jason King for possession of a cross-bow and "throwing knives". Richard Portree was discharged and given 15 hours of community service for using his steel tipped cane and a shard of glass as weapons.

Charges against the anti-racists included mischief and common nuisance. Two individuals were also charged with weapons for having a picket sign and flag respectively.

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. Three of the four were charged with "weapons" for carrying banners and flags.

The anti-racists have either pleaded guilty or had the charges withdrawn. [1]

2005 Toledo Riot[edit]

The ARA network and affiliates played a strong role in organizing resistance to the National Socialist Movement's planned march to protest gang activity in the North End of Toledo, Ohio on October 15, 2005.

Tinley Park 5[edit]

On May 19, 2012, up to 20 people wearing masks and black clothes entered the Ashford House Restaurant in Tinley Park (a suburb of Chicago) and used bats and hammers to beat patrons who were attending the fifth annual White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet. Five members of Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, which is part of the Anti-Racist Action Network, were subsequently charged with felony counts of mob action, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property. The meeting was organized by the Wood River-based Illinois European Heritage Association, which claims associations with White News Now and Stormfront, an Internet forum for white supremacists.

Points of Unity[edit]

Anti-Racist Action has four points of unity.

1.We go where they go. Whenever fascists are organizing or active in public, we're there. We don't believe in ignoring them or staying away from them. Never let the Nazis have the street!

2.We don't rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us. This doesn't mean we never go to court, but the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo. They attack us and everyone who resists oppression. We must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.

3.Non-sectarian defense of other anti-fascists. In ARA, we have a lot of different groups and individuals. We don't agree about everything and we have a right to differ openly. But in this movement an attack on one is an attack on us all. We stand behind each other.

4.We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. ARA intends to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination against the disabled, the oldest, the youngest, and the most oppressed people. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!

ARA members[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

This article contains content from Wikipedia. Current versions of the GNU FDL article en:Anti-Racist Action on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article WP