South Side ARA Annual Zine #6 (2014-2015)
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ARA and other antifascist groupings have existed in Chicago since the late 1980's. For the most part, the organized antifascist presence has continued to exist and have typically been amongst the more active and successful antifascist groupings in the US. The most recent incarnation, South Side Chicago Anti- Racist Action (now of the TORCH network), are celebrating the end of our 5th year of antifascist activity. Starting back in 2009 we set out with extreme dedication, to destroy organized fascists in our state, eventually expanding outward and doing serious work in the midwest and elsewhere. When we first started, the group to beat was the Illinois National Socialist Front (INSF), descendants of Bill Whites ANSWP, led by Phillip Anderson. At this time, there was also a huge call out by the ARA network to shut down David Irving's US tour. This first year saw not only some very successful confrontations between south side ARA and the INSF, but Irving's speaking event held at the Edelweiss restaurant in Chicago was immediately shut down when a violent melee ensued between antifascists and neo nazis in attendance. Shortly after, in 2010 the INSF was scheduled to march in downtown Chicago, a bold move and an obvious challenge to Chicago antifascists. After tons of pressure from our side, the INSF had a pathetic turnout of 4 unprotected nazis who were quickly attacked leading not only to the end of the march, but the arrest of two of the attending neo nazis. These 2 major victories, along with several other smaller successful battles, and an impressive ability to expose white supremacists, strengthened our resolve, and solidified our reputation as an antifascist force to be reckoned with.
Over the next 4 years, we would face many more internal and external hardships, always coming out stronger and more intelligent than before. We managed for the most part, to keep our excitement and dedication and went on to have several more noteworthy successes. A few of these successes include the eventual end of the INSF, the shutting down of the local NSM unit before they even began, the forming of the TORCH network, the hosting of 2 national antifa conferences, the shut down of the White Man march in Centralia, IL, the infiltration and exposing of the local ANP, successful clashes with the Trad Youth Network, continuous pressure on David Irving across the midwest, antifascist benefits and prisoner support for several people including the Tinley Park 5, the publishing of 5 (now 6) annual antifascist zines, home demos, and several street confrontations and disruptions of neo nazi individuals, groups, and events in Illinois and across the country. With any action we have been part of we have always tried to critique ourselves and be honest about our successes and failures. This being said we genuinely believe that our presence in Illinois has helped to create a fear and paranoia amongst the fascists that we hope will last for years to come. A fear that has led the once seemingly hopeful neo nazi activist community into a state of disarray and inactivity. To say that their own failures and the role of the state hasn't also helped to create this dysfunction would be a lie. We also realize that repercussions are always a possibility and more importantly that white supremacy and reactionary tendencies are festering and live beyond the confines of flag waving organizations.
Since our forming years we have seen friends go to jail, we have suffered scrapes, bruises, state harassment and spying, but yet we are still here and are still active. We have outlasted any rival crew that has existed in this city since our inception. It has always been our dedication, brains, strategy, anonymity, and eventually our experience that helped lead us to constant victories over those who in some instances were more physically intimidating. Over the past year we have continued to expose and confront the fascists and white supremacists who have tried to rebuild or form a new and we will continue to do so.
We hope you enjoy our 6th annual south side ARA zine! Thanks to everyone who is or has been a part of south side ARA. Thanks to all who have supported us.
ALL FASCISTS BEWARE!!! LONG LIVE ANTIFA!!! LONG LIVE SOUTH SIDE ARA!!!