Paul Messersmith-Glavin and Jesse Cohn: The Expansive Horizons of Antifascism – Interview With Editor Shane Burley

Anti-fascist protesters hold a banner and red smoke flares during a demonstration against NATO in Madrid, Spain on June 26, 2022. DIEGO RADAMES / SOPA IMAGES / LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES

Institute for Anarchist Studies | December 1, 2022

The editor of “No Pasarán! Antifascist Dispatches from a World in Crisis” discusses the ongoing fight against fascism.

Paul Messersmith-Glavin: Talk about what was going on in the world four or five years ago and what motivated you to put this collection together.

Shane Burley: I think I first came up with the idea in 2018 when I was at a bar with Kim Kelly and Spencer Sunshine. It seemed like the time to start something like this, and I knew it would be a multi-year endeavor. There was a lot of interest in the idea of antifascism because people were joining antifascist groups, creating new ones, building these really mass actions, and, more importantly, trying to figure out what was next. There were some good books out at the time, and some great ones still to come, but we were thinking about how to build outward. What was missing?

So the thought was to talk about different kinds of experiences, different voices, really open it up, and hear from people who had not had a platform. Then we wanted to flip the script and come at it from different directions. There were a lot of approaches that could distinctly be called antifascist that had yet to really get attention. Musicians and religious groups who were developing subcultural strategies, international movements that had never been identified as antifascist, entire histories that were being defined out of antifascism. So the goal of the anthology was to widen the scope and to think about all the different facets of the idea, and in doing so to help create a plurality of what types of tactics, organizations, and strategies we could use to fight fascism. And that’s what’s so great about the book being released right now, because this is the perfect time to be asking that question since the entire terrain is shifting so rapidly. We don’t know entirely what comes next, but it won’t look like what we were fighting just a couple of years ago and so we need an intensely diverse approach.

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