Midwest Straight Edge Antifa was born on July 31st 2015 in response to an increase of fascist and racist activity in the non-human animal liberation, environmental and straight edge movements. Since these movements have recently gained popularity, their vulnerability to fascist and racist co-opting has increased with newer liberal Animal Rights and environmental groups welcoming and/or associating with fascists and racists. This turns the eco-defense and straight edge movements into spaces that are hostile towards people of color, women, queer and trans folk, the disabled, and others. “Compassion” and vegan ethics do not absolve fascists and racists of their violent ideologies but rather obscures them, allowing them a platform and subsequently de-legitimizing the struggles of others who are oppressed.
Straight edge is a movement open to all. This means that while not everyone embraces straight edge ideology, when fascists and racists turn straight edge into a movement hostile towards people of color, women, queer and trans people, the disabled, and others, support and solidarity with those struggling against addiction and intoxication culture is severed. Midwest Straight Edge Antifa seeks to expose and confront fascists and racists in these movements as well as those who support and associate with them.
Midwest Straight Edge Antifa is a decentralized movement of vegan, straight edge anti-racists and anti-fascists who are dedicated to exposing and eliminating fascism, racism, sexism, speciesism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, disablism and other forms of oppression in general, and within the vegan, environmental and straight edge communities in particular. Towards the destruction of settler-colonialism; we want total liberation.
What we do.
1. We Educate:
by doing serious and credible research on racists and fascists in general, and also on those attempting to infiltrate and participate in the environmental, non-human animal liberation and straight edge movements.
by sharing information with allies in dozens of collectives, affinity groups and crews worldwide.
by distributing thousands of copies of all kinds of literature about racism, fascism and oppression for free at shows, schools, conferences, protests, parties and in prisons.
2. We Organize:
by initiating, participating in and/or supporting anti-racist/anti-fascist demonstrations and actions.
by hosting diverse, constructive and practical anti-racist/anti-fascist trainings and gatherings.
by recognizing that racism is a multi-faceted issue entwined with a number of other problems.
by strengthening our understanding and resolve and working within our communities.
by defending other anti-racists and anti-fascists across the globe.
3. We Confront:
by refusing to ignore the violent bigots that comprise racist and fascist groups.
by directly challenging racists and fascists when they attempt to recruit, organize, mobilize, propagandize, and cause harm to people.
by using innovative, creative, and highly-effective tactics
by denying racist and fascist groups the opportunity to monopolize public spaces and by denying racists and fascists the chance to turn the environmental, non-human animal liberation and straight edge movements into spaces that are hostile towards people of color, women, immigrants, queer and trans folk, the disabled, and others.
Why doesn’t Midwest Straight Edge Antifa rely on the cops or the courts?
Most anti-racist groups focus all their efforts on creating new laws or getting the police to respond to racism. But the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo; they attack us and everyone that resists oppression. We stand against the colonial courts, the cops and the prison-industrial complex.
What is fascism?
Midwest Straight Edge Antifa recognizes a number of characteristics of fascist movements. Fascism is an ultra-nationalist ideology that mobilizes around and glorifies a national or perceived racial identity, valuing this identity above all other interests (for example gender or class). Fascism is marked by its hostility towards reason and human solidarity, by its dehumanization and scapegoating of marginalized or oppressed groups, by its use of violence or threats of violence to impose its views on others, and by its rejection of supposedly “effeminate” or “soft” values in favor of “manliness.” Anti-Semitism and racism are primary facets of National Socialism and most other varieties of fascism. Fascism aims at a militarized society, and organizes along military or quasi-military lines, usually with an authoritarian structure revolving around a single, charismatic leader. Fascist groups may have the facade of an efficient and dynamic organization, but in reality, power structures are arbitrary and ruthless. Fascists use anti-elitist rhetoric to appeal to the “common man,” coupled with internal elitism and willingness to accept support from existing elites. Fascism glorifies a mythologized past as justification for its present ideological stances, and as a basis for future organization of society.
What about free speech for fascists?
Midwest Straight Edge Antifa does not use the state to prevent anyone’s free speech. The right to free speech restricts the state from censoring ideas, it does not stop the public from opposing hateful ideas.
The fact that people dislike what bigots have to say and want to make that known is not prohibited by the concept of free speech. If bigots actively go out of their way to tell people that 90% of the world’s population should be enslaved or that the best thing they can do is kill someone because of their skin color, religion, ethnic background, immigration status, sexual orientation, disability, etc., they can’t use “free speech” to silence opposition.
Anti-racists and anti-fascists have an obligation to deny a platform to bigots so that they can’t spread their message and recruit. Concert venues, meeting halls, radio programs, and the like make choices about who to host on a regular basis. These choices have a very real impact on bigoted ideas taking root in one’s community.
Responding to bigoted speech is important. We believe in being proactive when it comes to fascist violence, which means confronting fascist organizing before they have a chance to put their ideas into action, and taking fascist threats seriously.
Torch Points Of Unity
1. We disrupt fascist and far right organizing and activity.
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. We oppose all forms of oppression and exploitation. We intend to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement of oppressed people against racism, sexism, nativism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination against the disabled, the oldest, the youngest, and the most oppressed people. We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!
4. We hold ourselves accountable personally and collectively to live up to our ideals and values.
5. We not only support each other within the network, but we also support people outside the network who we believe have similar aims or principles. An attack on one is an attack on all.