Solidarity Trumps Fascism

Graphic: Nico Holzmann

The moment many of us have been dreading is fast approaching.

On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will be inaugurated President of the United States.

There is a whole host of reasons the man should not be president of such a powerful country. The multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him, his choice of Stephen Bannon, the former head of the alt-right publication Breitbart News, as chief strategist in his cabinet and an endorsement from the KKK newspaper The Crusader are just three of the many that come to mind.

Perhaps the most disturbing though, in my mind at least, is the fact that his politics —promoting a strong government and powerful corporations simultaneously — and his exaltation of a white, foreigner-free US, meets the definition of fascism.

There is at least one good thing that has come from this election, in my opinion: anti-fascist groups in the country are seeing a surge in interest and participation. As it stands, several groups are planning to disrupt the inauguration ceremony, and demonstrations will be held in several cities across the U.S. throughout that weekend.

The planned inauguration protests will set the terms of resistance to the Trump administration—and anti-fascists are planning to set a high standard. From blocking transport infrastructure to self-defense against the increasingly mobilized street-level far right, anti-fascists are preparing for protracted struggle beginning on Jan. 20.

If Trump’s election has lit a fire in your belly and you want to show solidarity with American anti-fascists in their fight against an oppressive leader, there are things, as residents of Montreal, you can do. Protests will be held in the city on the Jan. 20 and Jan. 21—Resist Trump! and the Women’s March on Washington respectively—that you can attend. The Women’s March is open to everyone, regardless of gender identity.

If you’re against Trump and his ideology and want to take a stand, taking local action to fight fascism is a powerful way to show your solidarity with those working against him in the U.S. The goal is to think global and act local—so we can all work to eliminate fascism and prevent another Trump from being elected. It all starts at home.

It may seem at first glance like it is not addressing the issue at hand, but think about it: what better way is there to show support for the cause than by incorporating it into our daily lives and into our own community? Committing to anti-fascist action in our own city shows our solidarity with others who do the same.

There are a number of organizations operating in Montreal that are committed to anti-fascist action and ideas. A good starting point is Bibliothèque DIRA, Montreal’s anarchist library. They have a large selection of books about things like globalization, feminism, activism and direct action, among many other topics. The staff is friendly and open to discussion, so it’s a great place to start getting informed about stuff going on in the city or just about social issues in general.

Another option is the Quebec Public Interest Resarch Group at Concordia, a resource centre for grassroots activism for a number of social and environmental issues. It’s an organization independent from Concordia administration and run by volunteers who organize things like workshops and speakers throughout the semester. Visit their website for info on how to reach out to them.

And, of course, there’s Action antifasciste Montreal, a group committed to raising awareness about and usually intervening in fascist events in the city. Most recently, they successfully shut down a show in Montreal by Graveland, a metal band associated with Polish Neo-Nazism.

By engaging in anti-fascist action locally, we can help to show American anti-fascists that they are not alone. We also do the important work of preventing the rise of the far right here at home. And by working within groups like QPIRG and DIRA, we also work to build alternatives to the far right. These are two complementary parts of a broader strategy.

By incorporating anti-fascist activism in your life, you are taking a stand against Trump—and showing your support for those working against him in the U.S. Inaction, especially within our own community, is acceptance. When you get involved is when you help bring change.