‘I hold Donald Trump responsible’: Berkeley teacher hit with threats after clashing with neo-Nazis
A middle school teacher in Berkeley, California was the subject of an anonymous threat against her workplace after she was spotted getting into an altercation with neo-Nazi demonstrators over the weekend.
“I am disgusted and condemn these attacks on myself and the children, the faculty and staff at my school,” Yvette Felarca told Berkeleyside. “I hold Donald Trump responsible for this. 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.”
Officials with the Berkeley Unified School District said in a statement that they were informed on Monday that Felarca, who teaches at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, was involved in the counter-demonstration in Sacramento on Sunday.
According to the statement, once Felarca was linked to the school, it received several emails demanding that she be fired with one in particular containing a threat “that if certain actions were not taken against the teacher within the week, someone would come to King with the intent to harm students.”
The school is not currently in session. But a police cruiser was dispatched to the area in response to the email, which was classified as a “low-level threat” by federal officials.
According to Fusion, a district spokesperson, Mark Coplan, said there had not been any discussion regarding disciplinary action against Felarca.
“We’re no different from any other employer,” he said. “We can’t discipline anyone for what they do in their private life. If it were me or the superintendent, that’s be different because we’re spokespeople for the District.”
Several people were stabbed on Sunday as demonstrators with two neo-Nazi groups, the Golden State Skinheads and the Traditionalist Worker’s Party.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the latter organization as the political arm of the Traditionalist Youth Network, which the SPLC said is out to “indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism.”
Felarca, who was an organizer in Black Lives Matter protests in Berkeley in December 2014, was targeted after she was seen on video shoving one of the demonstrators in front of police and yelling, “Get the f*ck off our streets.” Other counter-protesters are then seen attacking the man, which prompts police to rush in and pull them away. One officer can be seen bowling Felarca over from behind, then throwing her away from the fight. The footage can be seen below.
— Tazer Swift BREXITED (@CrashnDaPlane) June 28, 2016
That prompted violent threats against her online, as seen here:
Police told the Los Angeles Times that while no arrests have been made, the counter-demonstrators incited the violence on Sunday.
Felarca told KGO-TV that her goal during the event was to build a “mass, militant, integrated, anti-racist, immigrant rights movement.”
“Everyone who came here today came here united with one goal and that’s to shut down the Nazi scum, and we did that,” she said. “The Nazis and Fascists are dangerous. They need to be stopped and shut down by any means necessary. We can’t just ignore them because then they grow. They hold these rallies not to just talk to each other, they’re trying to recruit. But today they looked as weak as they are. They had to run hiding.”
Watch her remarks, as posted online, below.
— Frances Wang (@ABC10Frances) June 26, 2016