With disgust the founding members of the International Aid Association-International Brigades (IAA-IB) have witnessed the rise of the far-right in Europe and repression of working class movements elsewhere. From circa 2006 till 2012 between 150 and 200 people—leftists, migrants, ethnic minorities—have been killed by far-right groups and individuals in countries such as Hungary, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, and Russia. According to the Institute of Race Relations there have been 96 racist murders in the UK from 1993 till 2012.
Evidently, such racist violence is not limited to Europe. European people are targeted in South Africa, neo-Nazis in Mongolia have killed Chinese and spouses of Chinese, while racist murders in the US are certainly not unheard of.
It is clear we cannot stand idly by while the far-right organises and prepares for a race or cultural war. Equally clear is that we cannot rely on police for protection. It is fair to say that the police attract a certain type of person, often patriotic and prone to violence, which—in times of crisis—can turn to ultra-nationalistic sympathies. It is not surprising therefore that in the June 2012 Greek elections, half the police in Greece's capital Athens voted for the far-right Nazi party, Golden Dawn.
Police may often tolerate or even participate with far-right thugs.
It is, additionally, not merely the far-right that threatens individuals, workers, and communities. Police brutality and police action is often excessive and used to suppress working class movements. In South Africa more than a dozen of striking workers were slaughtered by police. Less extreme examples include the violently breaking up of strikes and demonstrations by police.
The situation in Europe and elsewhere in the world may escalate into a spiral of violence and we need to be prepared and where the European left in the 1930s neglected to do so we need to prevent a far-right seizure of power at all costs. In order to have the muscle power to crush fascism, we need preparation. This organisation serves as a body for that preparation.
Whether it is migrants harassed by police, ethnic minorities targeted by far-right groups, or strikes being attacked by whomever, we, of the IAA-IB, entitle ourselves to self-defence against these invasions of freedom. We do not expect nor desire for the state to set the parameters of our freedom and safeguard our freedom as it sees fit. We believe in the right to freedom and consequently the right to act upon it. As such we entitle ourselves with the right to self-defence.
The IAA-IB seeks to create a network that possesses the appropriate muscle power for self-protection from police and far-right thugs. Our primary aims are:
-Protection of communities and individuals from racist attacks.
-Protection of workers, striking or otherwise, from police harassment and repression.
-Protection of demonstrations and occupations from far-right and police.
-Protection against evictions.
-Protection of leftists from threats, harassment, and attacks.
-Self-education and studying tactics as preparation for a possible future social conflict.
-First aid training and employment.
-Researching and exposing of far-right groups and police misconduct.
-Demonstrating against far-right groups and police brutality.
-Training in self-defence, fighting, stamina, and muscle power.
-Setting up of a logistical framework for antifascist activity.
-The creation of self-discipline amongst our members.
-Mobilising communities and workplaces against fascism.
-Demobilisation of domestic armed forces preparing to engage or engaging in repressing or fighting of left-wingers abroad.
-Providing aid other than protection to communities and workers at their request.
-Informing and educating people about the dangers of fascism and right-wing extremism.