This article was originally published on The William McKinley Institute Blog on March 24, 2020.
The Action Network is an activist platform that enables activists to campaign, fundraise and network. They have partnerships with many major labor and progressive organizations, such as the AFL-CIO and The Daily Kos. Currently, two chapters of the TORCH Antifa Network, the anarcho-terrorist syndicate, are using the platform to fundraise. Chapters of the syndicate have committed various violent crimes from the recent assault of journalist Andy Gno by the Rose City Antifa chapter to the mob beating of Marines that lead to ethnic intimidation charges by the Philly Antifa chapter.
The Action Network lists as prohibited material under their Action Squared Acceptable Use Policy For Action Network page, “violent material” as well as organizations or individuals who “Promote, facilitate or encourage illegal activity.” Both Antifa Sacramento and Atlanta Antifascists are currently sharing the same account. Their very existence as anarcho-terrorist gangs violates these policies, as “militant Antifa” organizations believe violence against their political enemies constitutes “community self-defense.” Both organizations were already banned in 2018 from Paypal due to violating the processors terms of service.
In 2016, Antifa Sacramento organized a mob attack against a Nationalist rally in Sacramento that was so violent the rally-goers had to use near lethal force to defend themselves. Law enforcement claimed that the attack was launched by those protesting the rally, which Antifa Sacramento was among the main organizers of, and bragged about shutting the rally down with violence afterwards.
Atlanta Antifascists have participated in several riots, including the 2016 Stone Mountain riot [here, here, here, and here] and the 2017 Georgia Tech riot. During these events, rioters threw rocks and other objects at police, attacked vehicles and people, lit numerous objects on fire including a police vehicle, and assaulted police officers. The gang celebrated the 2017 riot by posting an image of a police vehicle on fire with the statement “NO APOLOGIES!.”
It is unknown how long these gangs have been fundraising using the Action Network’s website or how much they have managed to collect using it. Every day that these gangs are able to fundraise using their account on the Action Network puts innocent lives in danger and threatens our nation’s democratic principles. These funds are used to mobilize members for violent street riots against Americans utilizing their 1st Amendment rights. One anarcho-terrorist, Gage Halupowski, was recently sentenced to 6 years after bashing a man over the head with a baton in Portland, Oregon. Another anarcho-terrorist, David Campbell, was also recently sentenced in a separate incident in New York for assaulting a 56-year-old man outside an event.
This is also not the first time these gangs have used the Action Network’s platform. In 2016 All Out Atlanta, a front group for multiple anarcho-terrorist gangs including Atlanta Antifascists, used their payment processer to fundraise on their website for the organized riot at Stone Mountain previously mentioned. Another anarcho-terrorist gang using the Action Network’s platform is the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund, an organization that funds the legal defense of anarcho-terrorists around the world. In 2016 they helped fundraise for Jason Hammond, an anarcho-terrorist convicted for his part in a 2012 terrorist attack in Tinley Park, Illinois.
It is time the Action Network stopped funding anarcho-terrorist gangs and shut them down for good. In doing this, they would send a clear message that political violence is not acceptable. Currently, the message they are sending by allowing these gangs on their platforms is very clear.