Antifa leader to plead ‘not guilty’ to assault, rioting
Prominent Berkeley Antifa leader and school teacher Yvette Felarca announced that she will plead not guilty to assault, rioting, and incitement charges at an upcoming November 8 hearing.
As a senior leader of the “Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, & Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary,” or BAMN, Felarca has been a leading organizer of Antifa demonstrations in the area that have often turned violent.
Police have arrested Felarca twice this year, once in relation to a 2016 Sacramento riot where she was caught punching a peaceful protester on video. The authorities charged the activist with assault and inciting a riot before releasing her on bail.
Felarca’s second arrest came during a September 2017 “Victory March” march in Berkeley, where she was charged with “battery and resisting arrest” after a scuffle with counter protesters.
According to The Daily Californian, a judge agreed Wednesday to postpone Felarca’s arraignment hearing until November 8, granting the defense additional time to review the prosecutor's’ evidence.
Felarca, meanwhile, stated that she will plead “not guilty” to all charges, the publication reported.
Ronald Cruz, Felarca’s attorney and a self-described “civil rights organizer and lawyer with BAMN,” has pledged “to fight the charges because [Felarca] did nothing wrong,” adding that “people shouldn’t be jailed for standing up to the rise of fascism.”
The judge also rejected the prosecution’s request to prohibit Felarca from engaging in protests while she is on bail, merely warning the activist to avoid illegal activities.
Felarca recently filed a restraining order against the president of the University of California-Berkeley College Republicans with the help of attorney and BAMN leader Shanta Driver.
The student group has strongly opposed the order, arguing that Felarca’s claims of stalking and harassment are fictitious.
BAMN and Ronald Cruz did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.
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