Boston-area members of several left organizations, including Boston Antifa and Freedom Road Socialist Organization (also known as Organizacion Socialista del Camino para la Libertad, or OSCL), held a fundraiser benefit on February 4 to support activists facing legal charges stemming from protests against a National Socialist Movement gathering in New Jersey last year. The benefit, which featured bands from the Boston area, was held at Encuentro Cinco and promoted solidarity with activists fighting neo-Nazis in the United States and globally.
Three local bands, Darby’s Ditch Diggers, The Workers, and Second Half of the Season played to the crowd which donated $5 per person to get in. Those in attendance included anarchists, communists, anti-fascists, and people repulsed by racism.
Boston Antifa raised several hundred dollars at the benefit. The money went towards the court costs of anti-Nazi activists facing charges related to 2011 protests against a National Socialist Movement, which is one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the United States. During the protest, eight neo-Nazis were sent to the hospital. Two activists from the Anti-Racist Association (ARA) are currently facing criminal charges in connection with the protest. More than $400 was raised to pay for legal costs of the Anti-Nazi protesters in New Jersey. Tom Kay, a member of the New Jersey ARA addressed the people gathered and thanked the organizers for putting on the event.
Boston Antifa was formed in 2011 after the events in New Jersey. Malatesta, a member of Boston Antifa, said: “We are here to show that Boston is an antifascist zone.” Boston Antifa is engaged in activism against racist groups such as Northeast White Pride. If Neo-Nazis go unchallenged in a time of economic crisis, they can push political discourse farther to the right. To prevent this, Boston Antifa promotes unity on the left against fascism and vows to deny neo-Nazis the ability to organize in the public sphere and aims to disrupt their events. Those interested in learning more about Boston Antifa can find them on Facebook.
An international side of the benefit was the commemoration of antifascist activist Jan Kucera from the Czech Republic. Kucera died in 2008 after he was mortally wounded fighting Neo-Nazis, saving his comrades in the process. Evan Sarimento of OSCL celebrated Kucera’s life as showing the strength of emancipatory politics, revolutionary ideas, and “how we can show solidarity with people fighting fascism everywhere.”