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#AUnitedFront For those of you who are new to the story and are wondering: what's the deal with the iron front flag?How did we get here? Here is a brief history. (Thread)
#AUnitedFront As a supporter group, the TA has been anti-fascist since well before the Timbers were in MLS. Our history has long been one of inclusion and anti-discrimination.
#AUnitedFront We have had anti-fascist banners, signs and symbols in the stands since USL days. Our clubhouse is named the Fanladen in a conscious nod to @fcstpauli, another explicitly anti-fascist club in Germany.
#AUnitedFront Since at least 2017, we'd flown an iron front flag regularly without incident. In 2018, we first heard concerns about the flag in our regular meetings between the 107IST board and Timbers/Thorns front office. They requested that we not fly it, but didn’t insist.
#AUnitedFront we weren’t sure where the concern was coming from, but we continued to display the iron front in the stands that year. We had several conversations with the front office, explaining our rationale for flying the flag, along with its history and what it represents.
#AUnitedFront in the off-season, the Timbers/Thorns front office let us know that a new fan code of conduct would be released in 2019. We were also warned that the flag might become an issue with the league.
#AUnitedFront in Jan 2019, representatives of the TA & @PDXRivetersSG met w/other SG reps & with @farnet's @Pavel_Klymenko at @ISCSupporters in Dallas. We discussed the upcoming code of conduct & concerns about the potential prohibition on political displays & the iron front.
#AUnitedFront In March of 2019, MLS released its new fan code of conduct. At the time we expressed our concerns, our suggestions for improvement, and an appeal to allow the iron front flag to fly. timbersarmy.org/Blog/7195404
#AUnitedFront After pressing the front office for months for clarity and something in writing that we could share with our members, they sent us this, which we posted for them on our website. timbersarmy.org/Blog/7367159
#AUnitedFront At our Seattle away match, both Timbers Army and ECS members flew an iron front flag. Security came for the TA flag almost immediately, while the ECS flag flew for the entire second half of the match
#AUnitedFront The Seattle front office subsequently released a statement declaring that flying the iron front flag would not be allowed in their stadium, and received criticism from ECS for equating anti-fascism with hate groups. weareecs.com/multimedia/cat…
#AUnitedFront Supporters around the league took up the cause, with iron front images appearing in the stands, and began posting under the hashtag #AUnitedFront
#AUnitedFront Last week, the Timbers and Thorns posted a “clarifying statement” regarding the iron front symbol. timbers.com/post/2019/08/1…
#AUnitedFront we posted our our response. timbersarmy.org/Blog/7838160
#AUnitedFront MLS and clubs have consistently looked to brand their league and teams on the backs of supporter contributions - tifo, chants, imagery - while simultaneously & systematically attempting to micro-manage supporters culture to fit some preconceived norm.
#AUnitedFront We assume that somebody, somewhere, thought (and perhaps still thinks) that the iron front image was bad for business.
#AUnitedFront Supporters culture is beautiful precisely because it can be spontaneous, edgy, raw, and emotional - it is a token of love for club and town, not something to be stripped down, boxed up, and homogenized.
#AUnitedFront More importantly, the ban is not only offensive, it is dangerous. It sends precisely the wrong signal to fascists, racists, nationalists, white supremacists, and more. Such hate groups should NOT be given an inch & should NOT be made to feel welcome in the stands.
#AUnitedFront This fight is NOT over. We urge you to continue to let your front office, and the league, know where you stand.
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