MINNECULTURE IN-DEPTH: ‘Fighting Back: The Rise of Anti-Racist Action in Minneapolis’

MINNECULTURE IN-DEPTH: ‘Fighting Back: The Rise of Anti-Racist Action in Minneapolis’

In the days after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, youth-led protests in the city helped spark rebellions around the globe. The police, military, and white supremacist groups all responded. President Trump blamed the protests on “antifa” and called for participants to be labeled terrorists.

Anti-Racist Action (ARA) started in Minneapolis and is a predecessor to the crews often now called antifa. ARA started in 1987 with a multiracial group of teenage skinheads who fought the rising white power movement. It grew into a network of groups in at least 120 towns and cities across the U.S. and Canada. ARA’s first principle was: “We go where they go. Never let the Nazis have the streets.” They eventually applied that not only to white power organizing, but to homophobic and anti-abortion organizing, and to police violence, which they saw as all connected.

Told through vivid first-person accounts, archival audio, and music from the era, “Fighting Back: The Rise of Anti-Racist Action in Minneapolis.” It starts under the railroad tracks in Uptown, Minneapolis and traces a movement that continues to shape the U.S. to this day.

Listen here:

(Photo Courtesy of Kara La Lomia)

“Fighting Back: The Rise of Anti-Racist Action in Minneapolis” is a production of KFAI’s MinneCulture. Funding for MinneCulture made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. It was produced by Anna Stitt. Alexis “Lex Amor” Adimora composed the original score.

Anna Stitt is a fiscal year 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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