The few hundred fascists who rallied in Portland, Oregon, last weekend unwittingly raised over $35,000 for the defense of Latino immigrants, anti-fascist activists announced Saturday.
For each member of the assorted far-right and white nationalist groups who attended the Aug. 17 rally, anti-fascists had pledged to donate a nickel, a dime or other small amounts of money to an Oregon Latino rights organization called Causa, which helps defend undocumented people from deportation.
The fundraiser was organized by Popular Mobilization (or PopMob), a Portland coalition of leftist and anti-fascist groups. In a statement Saturday, PopMob announced that in the runup to the rally, donation pledges “flooded in from all over the country, and even as far away as the UK, ranging from two cents to five dollars a fascist.”
Some 300 fascists turned out for the rally, and in the week since, PopMob says Causa has “received $36,017.69 to support their work with Latino immigrants and their families.”
Put another way: Each fascist who turned up in Portland last weekend ended up personally raising about $120 for an anti-fascist cause they despise.
Members of far-right groups including the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer and the Three Percenters showed up in Portland for their demonstration on the city’s riverfront, which lasted only 30 minutes and didn’t result in many violent confrontations with counterprotesters, unlike previous rallies during the presidency of President Donald Trump.
The event was organized primarily by the Proud Boys, a gang of militant Trump supporters whose members wear black-and-yellow polo shirts and often attack leftists in the streets.
The Proud Boys and their allies, including the white supremacist group American Guard, have long track records of anti-immigrant bigotry. Last year a man affiliated with the Proud Boys was filmed saying into a megaphone that undocumented immigrants should have their heads smashed “into the concrete.”
In its statement, PopMob said its fundraiser was “in direct opposition to the anti-immigration rhetoric of the far-right and the current administration that emboldens them, showcasing the resilience and strength of a community coming together against hate.”
PopMob drew inspiration for the fundraiser from residents of Wunsiedel, Germany. For every meter neo-Nazis marched through Wunsiedel in November, the town pledged 10 euros to a group called EXIT Deutschland, which assists people trying to escape extremist groups.
Residents mockingly cheered on the Nazis as they marched, thanking them for their donations. The fundraiser ultimately raised 10,000 euros.
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