antifa furries

Meet the Anti-Fascist Furries Fighting for Their Community

In the wake of the Trump election, communities across America are bracing themselves for a rise in bigotry and violence. The anti-fascist movement (“antifa” for short) has surged to confront hate rallies, sometimes even using physical force. Members of minority groups are rushing to take self-defense classes. And in the furry community, where a well-intentioned culture of acceptance has allowed a small group of neo-Nazis to fester, people are putting up their paws to fight fascism, too.

Yes, the alt-right has even infiltrated the furry community

What are furries, and why are there Nazis in there?

Furries are a subculture of people interested in anthropomorphic animals. People involved in the furry community might wear fursuits, draw furry art or role-play as their human-animal “fursonas.”

The community is generally very open-minded. Many furries also identify as LGBTQ, and last year, a furry convention threw an unplanned welcome party for a group of Syrian refugee children entering Canada. The community is a place where you can be yourself no matter what and still be accepted.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult for such an open-minded community to deal with creeps. One anti-fascist furry we spoke to who asked to be identified as “SF” said, “We have a bad habit of dismissing any negative event as ‘drama’ regardless of its severity, and community celebrities who turn out to be rapists and so on commonly retain their status even after multiple such events.”

Some bad elements inevitably seeped into the subculture and took advantage of its openness. There’s a small group of neo-Nazi furs, who sometimes call themselves “alt-furry” (like the alt-right) or the Furry Raiders. The furry community’s unwillingness to ostracize anyone has allowed them to stick around and cause trouble.

Since the election, it’s only gotten worse.

“A lot of alt right furries were very happy that Trump was elected,” an anti-fascist furry who referred to himself as “Mapache” tells us.

tifa mascot
Tifa, the adopted mascot of the Antifa Furry movement

What do Nazi furs do?

Alt-furries haven’t carried out any physical violence, but they can find other ways to harm members of the furry community.

“Alt-right furs have harassed people of color and trans furs in the past,” Mapache says. “Last year the Furry Raiders block-booked 25% of hotel rooms at Rocky Mountain Fur Con in Colorado, which meant that many convention guests couldn’t get rooms.”

Most alt-furries just stick to standard internet troll tactics like violent threats or doxing (exposing an enemy’s personal information or identifying details). But in a community like the furry fandom, this behavior can have serious consequences.

“It’s worth noting that relatively small acts of petty abuse, such as banning political/social opponents from FurAffinity (a major online furry community) can have a really dramatic impact on someone’s life when it’s both their only social network and for many their primary method of income,” SF explains.

Another anti-fascist fur who calls herself “Light” expressed concern over the future of the fur community, saying, “The furry fandom is one of the most creative and artistic fandoms alive at the moment, and if we let fascism rise through it, we’ll probably lose it.”

furry raiders
This is what a neo-Nazi furry looks like; photo via Twitter

So what do anti-fascist furries do?

Antifa furries don’t usually get a chance to organize in real life. Most of their activism is remote and web-based; they aren’t rioting or punching Nazis. But they are working to drive the alt-fur menace from their community. They’ve convinced certain conventions, like Anthro New England and Rocky Mountain Fur Con, to ban the use of the alt-right Furry Raider symbol (a Nazi-style red armband with a paw print instead of a swastika, pictured above).

They’re also politically active in anti-fascist work outside of the furry community. Many furries are queer—in particular bi, trans or non-binary—and are already part of the LGBTQ rights movement.

Some are pushed into activism as a result as the pressures of today’s political climate, particularly discrimination and economic factors.

“The fandom is way more politically active now,” one furry who calls himself “Chip” says. “If our lives get more difficult in reality, it makes it a lot harder to enjoy the fantasy. Buying and making art, fursuits and so on isn’t cheap.”

He adds, “I think a lot of us would like to go back to enjoying the fandom, but real life is more important right now.”

 

(Header image via imgur)

  • Keep Honkin, I’m Reloading

    :/

  • Jefferson Wislon

    It could actually be something interesting, but when the out of context “furry-raiders” are Nazis appeared, i just knew it’s one more of these “maybe Nazi witchunt” that prejudices innocent people as calling them bad, just for calling, without any context or reason…

  • ThatGuy

    What a ridiculous fear-mongering editorial. There may be a small group of people in the fandom that sympathize with Nazi ideals but they are not any more prevalent in the fandom then out on the street. They are not some organized group of conspirators plotting to ruin your next con. They are Furry FANS. They attend cons, not ruin them. Some of them are even gay (And I’m talking FR’ s lead staff). And most importantly they are not a politically aligned group. They all hold varied political opinions but their goal is to not villianize everyone who holds different opinion.

    As for why the rooms were blocked, the hotel later had to correct itself, they had booked the rooms in advance for some of their members and they had some cancellations. FR released some rooms that would be empty as the people they were reserved for couldn’t make it. The hotel initially villianized the group and encouraged people to harass them to release rooms. Exactly what the group is trying to push back on.

    They are not alt-right, alt-furry, or even neo-Nazi. You are just a dishonest writer painting them in a bad light.

    I encourage anyone reading this to actually research the group. So far I’ve done a bit of looking and none of what this writer has said is represented with honesty or ethical integrity. And I will continue to look into FR and these claims of neo-Nazi subculture in the fandom.

  • ThatGuy

    “they are working to drive the alt-fur menace from their community.” I mean, seriously. This is a political ideology driven mad crusade. Reminds me of a quote:

    “One of our most important tasks will be to save future generations from a similar political fate and to maintain for ever watchful in them a knowledge of the menace of the alt-right.”
    -Adolf Hitler
    Only difference is he said “Jewry” and not “alt-right”. He wanted to wipe a class of citizens from existence and he started by segregating them from the culture. To “drive the menace from their community” as you put it.

    To be clear, I’m not defending people who agree with Nazi ideals. But neither would I condone your social outcasting of them. The issue is that you and the extreme left have shown no hesitation on dubbing everyone who disagrees with you as alt-right. And then you have the gall to say “this is our community! Let’s drive the alt-right out!” when you do not own the community. But you assume that everything on this green earth was placed there for you and those who agree with you. You are the chosen receivers of all this world’s bounty and no-one else. Fact is, you didnt make this community. It is not intrinsically entwined in any political ideology. You do not have any right or claim to lord over it.

  • ThatGuy

    You deleting comments is just another nail in the coffin of this failure of a website. Great design and layout but hit-piece articles filled with lies and censorship of genuine critique. People can see you’re deleting comments. People know you’re lying about the facts. And as a result your website has stagnated. When will you people learn that you can’t run a news and entertainment site on lies and censorship.

  • Furfags need to be shot.

  • Didn’t Winston Churchill once say that when fascism returned,it’d be under the name of anti-fascism?

    Seriously. As a furry myself, please don’t let these dipshits represent us.