A neo-nazi rally in Sacramento, California devolved into violence on Sunday after protesters clashed with the white supremacists—one of the protesters involved has been revealed to be a middle school teacher.
Yvette Felarca, a teacher at North Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, was vocal on social media about her association with the protest; she wrote a Facebook post about the threats she was receiving after her demonstration and gave a detailed interview to the Sacramento Bee.
While Felarca’s commitment to combating hate is admirable, she was unfortunately involved in the violence. According to Mic, there is video footage of Felarca swearing at the neo-nazis—“ Get the f*ck off our streets”—and throwing punches.
Violence is never acceptable under any circumstances, and while Felarca claims her actions were in self- defense, police alleged “counter-protestors were the ones to start the violence… counter-protestors were throwing wooden stakes and water bottles at the neo-nazis.”
Anonymous threats were emailed to Felarca's principal at the middle school, pressing for her removal and warning that if he didn't comply, "someone would go to the school and harm children."
The LA Times reports that while the FBI determined these to be "low level threats," the Berkeley Police Department has nevertheless increased security at the school for the time being.
Concerned parents have also been emailing in, pushing for Felarca to be fired, although the Berkeley Unified School District's spokesperson commented that she would not be facing any consequences.
Felarca condemned these attacks and defended herself on Facebook by designating the root cause of such rallies in the first place: Donald Trump.
“I hold Donald Trump responsible for this,” she wrote. “His politics of racist demagoguery and hate is inciting these vile threats of violence, even against children. It exposes why Trump and his racist, Nazi, and KKK supporters need to be defeated — and it shows us what Donald Trump’s vision for America really is, and why we need to keep building the movement.”
While Felarca is correct (the rise of Trump has certainly contributed to the strengthening of the far right-wing), it is deplorable that Trump has precipitated violence on the other side as well.
Liberals acting as protesters should always use nonviolent methods to get their point across, yet we’ve unfortunately seen incidents such as Sacramento’s and San Jose’s, where a Trump supporter was egged in the face.
The growing anger on both sides is disconcerting, and the behavior of Felarca and other protesters further exemplifies the vicious atmosphere Trump has cultivated.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters