On Friday, March 11th, thousands of Chicagoans descended on the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Pavilion to protest the rally of Donald Trump, including UIC students, different political organizations, affinity groups and autonomous individuals.
Our affinity group was composed of two WOC, four self-identifying sex-workers, and others, the majority of whom identify as queer folx, anarchists, marx/fems, progressive/radicals, all under the common goal of representing an Anti-fascist politic.
To be clear, no one was promoting Bernie Sanders, or any other presidential candidate within our affinity group.
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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.
May Day, or International Workers' Day, is an annual holiday which occurs on the first of May. Born out of fight for the eight-hour working day in Chicago and the state-sanctioned murder of the Haymarket Martyrs (History of May Day) May Day is celebrated today as a time for all members of the working class to stand united and show the bosses, landlords, and all of the ruling class that we are still not afraid.
We’re excited to announce the completion of our latest project, an updated version of the zine The A-Zone & A Decade Of Anarchy In Chicago. The Autonomous Zone was an anarchist organizing hub and infoshop that operated in Chicago for about a decade, hosting numerous events, political initiatives, and serving as a physical entry point for anarchist ideas in Chicago.