organisation: Anti-Racist Action is an international movement of people dedicated to stopping racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry from harming our communities. They work hard to "expose, oppose, and confront" hate in whatever form threatens the diversity and safety of the places we live in and the people we live with. They also firmly believe in building a fun, diverse, liberated and explicitly anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic youth culture.
how it works: having organised in over 200 different communities across North America, Anti-Racist Action is a diverse movement. Each chapter is autonomous, and members are free to decide for themselves what are the issues and problems in their community that need to be addressed. Still, they find enough common ground to work closely with each other on a number of fronts. All ARA members and chapters agree with the Points of Unity, the statement of beliefs and principles adopted by the Anti-Racist Action Network.
activities: ARA's work aim to “educate, organise, confront, and celebrate”.
focus on youth: ARA is youth oriented. The vast majority of its members and supporters are young people. They think the time for young people to deal with hate is now, not later. Most other anti-racist groups are hierarchical ‘top-down’ organisations dominated by adult ‘officials’ and ‘authorities’, "who don't do much to directly involve youth in fighting against hate and don't pay any attention to the experiences and belief of young people.”
- They educate: by doing serious and credible research on hate groups and issues involving racism and other forms of discrimination; by sharing information with allied anti-racists in dozens of organisations worldwide; by using this research to write and publish dozens of pamphlets, dossiers, articles, magazines, web pages, radio and television programs; by distributing thousands of copies of all kinds of literature about racism and discrimination for free at schools, conferences, protests, concerts and parties; by sending speakers to talk to hundreds of school groups, youth groups, church groups, community organisations and conferences all over the world.
- They organise: by acting as the primary contact for a new generation of anti-racist activists; by mobilising youth to combat racism and discrimination; by initiating or supporting nearly every major anti-racist demonstration in North America in the last five years; by hosting some of the most diverse, well-attended, constructive and practical anti-racist conferences, trainings and gatherings within the anti-racist movement; by recognising that racism is a multi-faceted issue entwined with a number of other problems our society faces and then using that knowledge to connect with literally hundreds of different groups and individuals from all walks of life; by strengthening our understanding and resolve and improving our communities through work on issues related to racism, such as poverty, homophobia, prisons, police abuse, workers' struggles, sexism, & reproductive rights; by defending other anti-racists and anti-fascists across the globe.
- They confront: by refusing to ignore the terrorists and thugs that comprise racist and fascist groups; by publicly challenging hate groups when they attempt to recruit, organise, mobilise, propagandise and cause harm to people; by using innovative, creative and highly-effective tactics that directly involve entire communities; by denying hate groups the opportunity to monopolise public spaces and by denying hate groups the chance to turn public spaces into danger zones for people of colour, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, the disabled and others.
- They celebrate: through their commitment to developing a fun, authentic anti-racist youth culture; by hosting parties, concerts and other events that encourage participation of people of diverse backgrounds in having fun in a safe and liberated environment; by organising regular weekend gatherings for young anti-racists to come to know and support each other.
funding: ARA is self-funded. They don't rely on government handouts to fight hate, so when they think the government is doing or saying something wrong, they are not afraid to call them on it.
vision: ARA is all about creating direct, community responses to hate.
”We'll let other anti-racist groups sit in their offices and meet with bureaucrats to discuss having a conference to set up a study group to recommend policy changes to an ad-hoc coalition of lobbyists to approach officials to draft an amendment to a bill calling for funding to maybe do something about hate in the coming fiscal year. The real fight against racism, sexism and homophobia is in the street, where real people live their lives. That's where ARA is from and that's where you will always find us!”
getting involved: ARA is non-sectarian, which means they welcome people of all political persuasions and people of all religious and ethnic backgrounds to join them.