Anti-Racist Action

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Anti-Racist Action logo as of 2011.

The Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) was a decentralized network of anti-fascists and anti-racists in North America which existed from 1987 until 2013.[citation needed] ARA activists organize actions to disrupt neo-Nazi, white supremacist and white power skinhead groups and individuals.[1] ARA groups also oppose sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, anti-immigration, Nativism, antisemitism, and the anti-abortion movement. ARA originated from the skinhead and punk subcultures with influence from anarchist politics.


Anti-Racist Action was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the late 1980s by members of the anti-fascist skinhead group Minneapolis Baldies, left-wing punk rock fans, and other activists.[2][3] ARA then expanded to several communities in the United States and Canada. Members of Love and Rage, a revolutionary anarchist organization, played a major role in building ARA groups and the ARA Network in the 1990s,[4] and the group's structure was formalized in 1994 at the first Midwest Anti-Fascist Network conference, in Columbus, Ohio.[5]

Anti-Racist Action is cited as a precursor to the American movement later known as Antifa.[6]


On August 24, 2002, a neo-Nazi demonstration was held in Washington, D.C., and several ARA affiliates held a counter-demonstration. A melee resulted and 28 ARA activists were arrested. Within about 36 hours, most had been released from jail, and many claimed that they were not properly informed about any crime they had allegedly committed until their release, if informed at all. The group became known as the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28. The charges were eventually dropped, and one of the 28 was not charged with any crime due to her status as a minor.[7][8]

On October 15, 2005, ARA members participated in a protest in Toledo, Ohio against the National Socialist Movement (NSM), in an incident that became known as the 2005 Toledo Riot.[9]

On March 21, 2010, ARA members scouted downtown Chicago waiting for the "White Pride World Wide" march that was advertised months prior by the Illinois National Socialist Front.[10] Apparently, the INSF had backed out of the march several weeks prior, but four Neo-Nazis were spotted and confronted by anti-fascists. Two members of racist groups were arrested, and a pro-diversity rally was held nearby.

On April 15, 2011, ARA members confronted the National Socialist Movement's annual conference in Pemberton, New Jersey.[11] A melee ensued with reports indicating that four members of the NSM being hospitalized and the conference being shut down. The following day in Trenton, NJ, the NSM Held a 90-minute rally at the Statehouse, which was outnumbered fourfold by anti-racist counter-protesters.[12]

On May 19, 2012, up to 20 people wearing masks and black clothes entered the Ashford House Restaurant in Tinley Park (a suburb of Chicago) and attacked white supremacists[13] who were attending the "fifth annual White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet", organized by the Wood River-based Illinois European Heritage Association, which claims associations with White News Now and Stormfront, an Internet forum for white nationalists.[14] Five members of Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, which is part of the Anti-Racist Action Network, were subsequently charged with felony counts of mob action, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property,[15] pleading guilty in 2013 and sentenced to terms ranging from 3 ½ to 6 years in prison.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Terry, Don (16 May 2013). "A Better Way". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  2. ^ Matt Snyders (20 February 2008). "Skinheads at Forty". City Pages. City Pages, LLC. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  3. ^ Beinhart, Peter. "The Rise of the Violent Left". The Atlantic. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  4. ^ Love and Rage Archive, Minneapolis Anti-Racist Action(archive), Love and Rage
  5. ^ "A History of "Anti-Racist Action"". Anti-Racist Action. The Anti-Racist Action Network. 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  6. ^ Bray, Mark (2017). "Introduction". Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook. Melville House. ISBN 978-1-61219-703-6. In the United States, most antifa groups have been anarchist or antiauthoritarian since the emergence of modern antifa under the name Anti-Racist Action (ARA) in the late eighties.
  7. ^ "Support the Baltimore Anti-racist 28". Archived from the original on 2012-03-10.
  8. ^ "Support the Baltimore Anti Racist 28!".
  9. ^ "Call to Action Against Neo-Nazis in Toledo! : Cleveland IMC (((i)))". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  10. ^ C. Alexander (2010-03-14). "Solidarity & Defense: Callout to Confront INSF 'White Pride World Wide' March in Chicago". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  11. ^ Anonymous (18 April 2011). "The Battle of Pemberton: ARA vs. NSM". Anti-Racist Action. The Anti-Racist Action Network. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Neo-Nazis, opponents brawl". Burlington County Times 2011-04-18. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  13. ^ Ben Feldheim; Nick Swedberg; Carrie Frillman; Lorraine Swanson (19 May 2012). "Police: Mob Attacked Specific Group of People Inside Tinley Park Restaurant". OakLawn Patch. OakLawn Patch. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  14. ^ STEVE METSCH (21 May 2012). "Bail set for five charged in attack at Tinley Park restaurant". Sun-Times Media. Sun-Times Media, LLC. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  15. ^ Rueff, Ashley. "Five charged in mob attack at Tinley Park restaurant". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  16. ^ Grimm, Andy (4 January 2013). "5 plead guilty in anti-racist attack at Tinley Park restaurant". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 March 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mark Bray,Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. 2017.

External links[edit]