We Go Where They Go: The Story of Anti-Racist Action
Authors: Shannon Clay, Lady, Kristin Schwartz, and Michael Staudenmaier • Foreword by Gord Hill
Series: PM Press/Working Class History
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.
Praise for “We Go Where They Go: The Story of Anti-Racist Action”
“I was a big supporter, and it was an honor to work with the Anti-Racist Action movement. Their unapologetic and uncompromising opposition to racism and fascism in the streets, in the government, and in the mosh pit continues to be inspiring to this day.”
—Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave
“Antifa became a household word with Trump attempting and failing to designate it a domestic terrorist group, but Antifa’s roots date back to the late 1980’s when little attention was being paid to violent fascist groups that were flourishing under Reaganism, and Anti-Racist Action (ARA) was singular and effective in its brilliant offensive. This book tells the story of ARA in breathtaking prose accompanied by stunning photographs and images.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment