Protests broke out at U.C. Berkeley Tuesday to shut down Patriot Prayers’ free speech rally, landing at least three protesters in jail, among them prominent “By Any Means Necessary” (BAMN) leader Yvonne Felarca.
Felarca, 47, is a teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School and was arrested for battery and resisting arrest after the Antifa-BAMN “Victory March” celebrating Berkeley’s cancellation of “Free Speech Week.”
The planned “Free Speech Week,” scheduled to kick off two days earlier on Sunday and featuring right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous, was cancelled by student organizers claiming unfair treatment by Berkeley administration. Yiannopoulous echoed the unfair treatment he received from the administration in a Saturday press conference which was recorded at an undisclosed hotel with Pamela Geller and Mike Cernovich, two other headliners for “Free Speech Week.” The Patriot Prayer event came in response to this cancellation.
Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, posted a video on Facebook before the event letting fans know he planned the Tuesday rally because he wanted to bring attention to “disgusting things happening at Berkeley,” alluding to the all-too-frequent reminders that the birthplace of the free speech movement is under attack by Progressive Socialist-Fascists vowing to shut down speech and opposing views.
Felarca is a familiar face at California protests and has a history of advocating for violence against her political opposition. She’s had previous brushes with the law and was arrested as recently as July on charges of assault and rioting, resulting from a June 2016 protest in Sacramento where she was filmed accusing a man of being a Nazi and repeatedly punching him in the stomach while shouting at him to “get the fuck off our streets.”
Also arrested Tuesday were Eddy Robinson, 47, of Oakland, for participating in a riot and resisting arrest; and Ricky Joseph Monzon, 20, of Las Vegas, charged with carrying a banned weapon.
Milo held an “unofficial” rally at Berkeley Sunday, Sept 24, which lasted all of a half hour, reports say. A large crowd of agitators protested Yiannopoulous’ presence, at one point breaking into chants of, “Off our street, Nazi scum.” Felarca is captured on video arguing with police.
The LA Times interviewed student David Marquis at the event, who identified himself as a senior. He observed the scene from outside the protest area and told the LA Times he was tired of the protests.
He summed up his sentiments to the Los Angeles Times in a few sentences.
“If you look at them, it’s ridiculous,” Marquis said. “You’ve got a guy with purple hair with a fucking lightsaber talking about Hitler. It’s hard for me to take any of this seriously.”
The Berkeley Unified School District has stated it is “monitoring developments in this case. Should an occasion arise for the District to take action, we will respond in an appropriate manner, in keeping with federal law, the California Education Code and the BUSD collective bargaining agreement with our teachers.”
BUSD said Felarca is a part-time employee who “worked her normal hours” the day of her arrest. No further information was forthcoming.