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These Furries Want You To Know They Hate Fascism Too

The groups are looking to support minorities and combat the rise of fascism within the furry community.

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The group formed shortly after the 2016 presidential election in reaction to what its members believed was a rising wave of neo-Nazism in the US.

Gay, bisexual, and transgender flag antifa-fur symbols have been uploaded to imgur for anyones free use… https://t.co/xfv1c7el1M

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A representative for the group, who asked to be referred to as Fiver, told BuzzFeed News that there is large contingent of people of color and LGBT people in the furry community.

This is their mascot, Tifa, by the way.

Anti-Fascist Furries wants to facilitate change and positive relations among furries. The group also believes that fascism was prevalent among furries long before the rise of President Trump but, until the election, was often underplayed.

Some people seem baffled we exist, but Nazis have taken home in this fandom for years, even since the start. No safe havens for Nazis.

"Nazi furs" have been a small but persistent online subculture for over 10 years. In the past, they have typically claimed that their interest in Nazi culture was purely for aesthetic reasons and not based in actual racism.

Nazi furries hang out in different parts of the internet, including a pretty active anti-Jewish group called "The Furzi" on the virtual world Second Life.

View this video on YouTube

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According to Geek.com, the Nazi furry subculture has been reinvigorated since the rise of the alt-right.

furredreichblog.com

A current, controversial group of furries known as Furry Raiders includes members who wear armbands in a red, white, and black color scheme that is similar to Nazi regalia, and a blog called Furred Reich published a piece titled "Why ‘Nazi Furs’ Should Stop Apologizing."

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Fiver blames websites such as 4chan for facilitating the far-right beliefs of some members of the community, by presenting them as "jokes."

4chan

Increased media coverage of Nazi furries and far-right figures has, he believes, emboldened not only fascist-leaning members of the furry community but also those with fascist beliefs in general.

As an example of the kind of persecution minorities face, Fiver pointed to a recent hashtag created by black furries to celebrate Black History Month, #FurryBlackHistoryMonth.

I'm an actor; voice and on camera. I'm a dancer, lover, gamer and creative. I'm nerdy and happy as I am! ❤🐯❤… https://t.co/CBdJAFY35G

Dancer Comedian Aerospace leader Fursuiter Mentor Car builder Musician Graffiti artist Bass fanatic Black as Fuck… https://t.co/6QIw7w6Xj6

While the thread was full of black furries celebrating their identity, it was also trolled by both furries and non-furries.

black, furry, writer, and proud #FurryBlackHistoryMonth

This is the worst thing I've seen all week and I went through #FurryBlackHistoryMonth https://t.co/sj5iEtn63G

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Members of the furry community are joining wider efforts to combat far-right extremism. Anti-Fascist Furries has a two-point plan: First, the group wants to amplify already active anti-fascist efforts via social media and participation.

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And second, they want to use the skills within the furry community, such as artistic ability, and charity events to raise money for organizations like the ACLU.

NEW unique glow-in-the-dark Firefly pin! 25% of sales price per to be donated to the ACLU! Read more & preorder at… https://t.co/sJih5fWCUz

Its work is part of a greater push within parts of the furry community to diminish the alt-right.

s/o to @jhermann for tipping me to existence of Antifa Furries

So any antifa furries going to be at #MFF2016?

"Furries have been known for their generous payment in the purchase of art, and for their charitable nature in general," Fiver said. "Many of us owe the community our careers, our safety, and our livelihood. I have faith that we can continue to broaden the scope of our care for the lives in our community and those outside of it."

Donate to the @ACLU, have a chance to win some awesome art! Rules and form here: https://t.co/GbcmANjJ31 Raffle end… https://t.co/0tYYoHCT0A

Fiver said that many of those involved in the anti-fascist effort did not choose to become politicized, but it was inevitable in the face of discrimination against marginalized communities.

Send your support and love to every furry putting themselves out there with pride in the #FurryBlackHistoryMonth tag today, they deserve it

The organizers of groups like Fiver's just see themselves as part of a bigger push back against a rising trend of fascism.

"All we did was put a name and a logo on something many furries have been thinking about for a long time, and we are very glad we did it," they said. "The furry community may seem like a strange place to start, but 'start local' is one thing I'd read that stuck with me. No matter how small in the grand scheme and how strange the beginnings are, change anywhere is change towards the whole."

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

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