A California judge declined to drop felony charges against a middle school teacher-turned-Antifa leader and two other activists despite lawyers claiming the charges were part of a “witch hunt” against the educator.
Yvette Felarca, 47, the leader and spokesperson for the anti-fascist group By Any Means Necessary and a middle school teacher in Berkeley, was accused of inciting and participating in a riot in 2016 between white nationalist groups and counter-protesters.
The skirmish broke out at the state Capitol in June 2016 when more than 300 counter-protesters confronted about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party, which has been called a white nationalist group.
The assault charge was filed after a video captured her hitting Nigel Walker, a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and calling a man a Nazi before repeatedly punching him in the stomach while shouting “get the f--- off our streets,” the Daily Californian reported.
Felarca, whose name in public records appears as Yvonne Capistrano Felarca, was taken into custody in July 2017 on the charges stemming from the violent brawl. Felarca was also injured in the melee after being stabbed and requiring stitches.
Felarca’s lawyers argued the California Highway Patrol allowed the Traditionalist Worker Party to hold the rally and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office “covered-up for and colluded with the fascists and that the charges amount to a witch-hunt against Felarca,” a motion asking the judge to dismiss the case stated.
“In the aftermath, the California Highway Patrol and Sacramento District Attorney have done nothing to prosecute the fascists who attempted to murder people in Sacramento,” the motion to dismiss stated.
The motion to dismiss also charged the California Highway Patrol and the attorney’s office were involved in a “cover-up by interrogating and harassing” the counter-protesters while they were being treated in the hospital.
The prosecutor argued that "there was no basis to dismiss these charges” and pointed out the fact that opposition individuals were not charged with crimes did not relieve Felarca from prosecution.
“Even if the extraordinary allegations of bias and collusion posited by the defense in their motion to dismiss were true, and they are not, they would have no bearing on the guilt or innocence of the defendants currently before the court,” the District Attorney’s office reply to the motion stated.
“I think the judge’s decision was politically motivated; I don’t think it was valid,” Shanta Driver, Felarca’s lawyer, said. “I think that this decision is regarded by all as being really outrageous.”
“We completely disagree with the judge’s decision,” Felarca said. “We’re committed to continuing to fight this out.”
A preliminary hearing is slated for May 18.
Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang contributed to this report.