What does it mean to risk all for your beliefs? How do you fight an enemy in your midst? We Go Where They Go recounts the thrilling story of a massive forgotten youth movement that set the stage for today's anti-fascist organizing in North America.
When skinheads and punks in the late 1980s found their communities invaded by white supremacists and neo-nazis, they fought back. Influenced by anarchism, feminism, Black liberation, and Indigenous sovereignty, they created Anti-Racist Action. At ARA's height in the 1990s, thousands of dedicated activists in hundreds of chapters joined the fights--political and sometimes physical--against nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, anti-abortion fundamentalists, and racist police. Before media pundits, cynical politicians, and your uncle discovered "antifa," Anti-Racist Action was bringing it to the streets.
Based on extensive interviews with dozens of ARA participants, We Go Where They Go tells ARA's story from within, giving voice to those who risked their safety in their own defense and in solidarity with others. In reproducing the posters, zines, propaganda and photos of the movement itself, this essential work of radical history illustrates how cultural scenes can become powerful forces for change. Here at last is the story of an organic yet highly organized movement, exploring both its triumphs and failures, and offering valuable lessons for today's generation of activists and rabble-rousers.
We Go Where They Go is a page-turning history of grassroots anti-racism. More than just inspiration, it's a roadmap.
Loved by our collective!
This is the first book-length history of ARA, the massive network of grassroots activists who confronted Nazis, the Klan, Cops, and the Christian Right in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Three of the four authors are ARA veterans, but they approach the material with a commitment to sober assessment, celebrating the wins while highlighting the shortcomings. I'm typically a slow reader, but I plowed through the text in three sittings, driven by the energetic storytelling and keen insights. Highly recommended!