Yvette Felarca, a humanities teacher at the Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Berkeley, Calif., was arrested last month for allegedly punching a white nationalist attending an alt-right rally in Sacramento in June 2016. Felarca has been charged with felony assault by means of force likely to inflict great bodily injury and two misdemeanor counts of inciting and participating in a riot, all of which she says she acted in self-defense.
As reported by The Daily News:
In video footage of the confrontation, Felarca can be seen bumping up against a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group that is “intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organizations”, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Felarca appears to punch the man in the abdomen, and yells “get the f— out of our streets,” according to Berkleyside.
Others jumped in and tried to grab a pole out of the man’s hands before dragging him to the ground and kicking him.
An eight-month investigation into the rally led to Felarca’s arrest, although she called for the charges to be dropped during her arraignment in July.
“Standing up against fascism and the rise of Nazism and fascism in this country is not a crime. We have the right to defend ourselves,” she said.
Felarca, who is a member of the activist group By Any Means Necessary, has been involved in numerous high-profile demonstrations in California.
Because she has not been convicted of a felony, she is allowed to continue teaching. She was suspended by the school district for six weeks before Felarca was reinstated, and several petitions have called for her dismissal.
What are your thoughts on Felarca’s claim of “self defense” in relation to the charges she is facing? Would you be comfortable with her teaching your children? Also, what are your views on Felarca thinking she had the right to punch the man on the basis that in her belief- standing up against fascism and the rise of Nazism and fascism is not a crime? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)