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The Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) was a "decentralized network of "anti-fascists and "anti-racists in "North America which existed from 1987 until 2013.["citation needed] ARA activists "organize actions, including criminal violence, to disrupt "neo-Nazi and "white supremacist groups, and help organize activities against "fascist and "racist ideologies. ARA groups also oppose "sexism, "homophobia, "heterosexism, "anti-immigration, "Nativism, "anti-Semitism, and the "anti-abortion movement. ARA originated from the "skinhead and "punk "subcultures with influence from "anarchist politics.
Anti-Racist Action was founded in "Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the late 1980s by members of the "anti-fascist "skinhead group Minneapolis Baldies, left-wing "punk rock fans, and other activists. ARA then expanded to several communities in the "United States and "Canada. Members of "Love and Rage, a "revolutionary "anarchist organization, played a major role in building ARA groups and the ARA Network in the 1990s, and the group's structure was formalized in 1994 at the first Midwest Anti-Fascist Network conference, in "Columbus, Ohio.
On August 24, 2002, a neo-Nazi demonstration was held in "Washington, D.C., and several ARA affiliates held a counter-demonstration. A melee resulted and 28 ARA activists were arrested. Within about 36 hours, most had been released from jail, and many claimed that they were not "properly informed about any crime they had allegedly committed until their release, if informed at all. The group became known as the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28. The charges were eventually dropped, and one of the 28 was not charged with any crime due to her status as a "minor.
On March 21, 2010, ARA members scouted downtown Chicago waiting for the "White Pride World Wide" march that was advertised months prior by the Illinois National Socialist Front. Apparently, the INSF had backed out of the march several weeks prior, but four Neo-Nazis were spotted and confronted by anti-fascists. Two members of racist groups were arrested, and a pro-diversity rally was held nearby.
On April 15, 2011, ARA members confronted the National Socialist Movement's annual conference in Pemberton, New Jersey. A melee ensued with reports indicating that four members of the NSM being hospitalized and the conference being shut down. The following day in "Trenton, NJ, the NSM Held a 90-minute rally at the Statehouse, which was outnumbered fourfold by anti-racist counter-protesters.
On May 19, 2012, up to 20 people wearing masks and black clothes entered the Ashford House Restaurant in Tinley Park (a suburb of Chicago) and used bats and hammers to beat patrons who were attending the fifth annual White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet. Five members of Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, which is part of the Anti-Racist Action Network, were subsequently charged with felony counts of mob action, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property. The meeting was organized by the Wood River-based Illinois European Heritage Association, which claims associations with White News Now and "Stormfront, an Internet forum for white nationalists.