In a shocking turn of events, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin has allegedly been unmasked as a member of a violent Antifa (anti-fascist) riot group called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), according to We Are Change. Arreguin, who has been suspected of ordering police to stand down during the recent series of riots at the University of California’s Berkeley campus, was reportedly found to be a member of By Any Means Necessary’s Facebook group and is apparently Facebook friends with one of the group’s main organizers, Yvette Felarca.
Mayor Jesse Arreguin is not merely a passive member of the By Any Means Necessary group.
In February, the mayor sent out a tweet in support of BAMN’s efforts to disrupt the UC Berkeley speech of right-wing political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, stating, “Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn’t welcome in our community.”
In 2005, By Any Means Necessary was named by the FBI as an organization thought to be involved in domestic terrorist activities, according to We Are Change.
Those who have accused Jesse Arreguin of ordering police to stand down during the riots are surely vindicated by the news of Arreguin’s apparent involvement with the Antifa organization, especially since he originally denied the claims, stating that police strategy was not ordered by him, but was rather controlled by the department, according to We Are Change. Jesse Arreguin’s involvement with BAMN organizer Yvette Felarca is perhaps the most alarming aspect of this story, considering this woman’s multiple acts of inciting violence.
Yvette Felarca is a middle school teacher in Berkeley who has been involved in many violent actions with the BAMN organization, including leading a gang of rioters to commit acts of arson, assault, and property damage at the UC Berkeley Milo Yiannopoulos event. According to EAG News, the Berkeley middle school teacher instructed protesters to do whatever they could to prevent the conservative commentator from speaking.
“We have to keep tethered, keep chanting…keep your eyes open because if Yiannopoulos shows up in our rally, he’s six-foot-two, whether he’s got his blonde hair or brown hair or red hair or a hat, look out for him, because if he comes here we got to make clear to him directly to his face that he is not welcome and we will shut him down by any means necessary”
Evidently, the Antifa protesters took the words of Jesse Arreguin’s radical friend to heart. Promptly, the rioters started beating Yiannopoulos supporters with fists and flag poles, and even attacking them with pepper spray, reports EAG News. Some even threw Molotov cocktails into the crowd, while others threw fireworks and rocks at police, smashed windows, blocked traffic, and set fires near a campus bookstore. We Are Change adds that Antifa rioters firebombed a generator-powered spotlight, while looters destroyed local businesses. The rioters caused approximately $400,000 to $500,000 in damage to the area surrounding the school, with $100,000 in damage to the University’s MLK Student Union.
Felarca’s leadership in violent Antifa activities did not begin at the UC Berkeley riot. Several months prior to this incident, she instigated a riot at a white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party rally in Sacramento, where almost a dozen people were stabbed and hospitalized, reports We Are Change. According to EAG News, she also shoved a man to the ground at the June 2016 rally, before causing an all-out brawl between the Traditionalist Worker Party members and the anti-fascist protesters. We Are Change adds that Yvette was caught on camera repeatedly punching this man in the stomach before eventually throwing him on the ground. Police have confirmed through news organizations, video footage from members, and testimony from bystanders that By Any Means Necessary initiated the violence.
The riots at the Milo Yiannopoulos event were just the beginning. Another antifascist riot at UC Berkeley occurred just one month after the Milo fiasco, when Trump supporters gathered on March 4 as part of a nationwide “March 4 Trump” event, reports the Daily Caller. Violence ensued after Antifa members assaulted Trump supporters at the gathering, some of whom fought back.
The latest “Battle of Berkeley” occurred on April 15 at a “Patriot Day” rally headlined by Lauren Southern, a former reporter for the Rebel Media, a conservative Canadian media outlet. The violence continued to escalate, with sticks, flagpoles, and knives being used as weapons. While police did arrest at least 15 people, Trump supporters at the event have accused Arreguin and the police of unfairly targeting them for arrest while sparing Antifa rioters.
After this latest outbreak of violence, UC Berkeley canceled the scheduled appearance of conservative author Ann Coulter, which was set to occur on April 27, reports the Inquisitr. The school stated that they were pulling the plug on Coulter’s speech due to “currently active security threats,” making the announcement Wednesday morning via email. The email stated that they could not find a safe location for Ann Coulter’s speech and that they were trying to set a date and time for a future event, citing the violence that occurred at the Milo event as their main reason for concern. Coulter has decided that she will go anyway in defiance of the school’s decision.
In light of the fact that the mayor of Berkeley has been allegedly revealed to be a member of Antifa, some are wondering whether Ann Coulter will stick by her decision to give her speech. Jesse Arreguin’s reported affiliations could mean that not only will he do nothing to stop any violence that may occur, but he may also be working with Antifa groups and giving instructions to Berkeley police that will create more mayhem and violence for all involved.
**UPDATE** According to the Los Angeles Times, Ann Coulter has decided to cancel her event after her sponsors withdrew their support and she was left without a venue. Conservative commentators and groups such as Lauren Southern and Gavin McInnes’ Proud Boys may make an appearance at Berkeley to protest the cancellation.
[Featured Image by Ben Margot/AP Images]