An avowed member of antifa, the violent faction of the “resistance” opposing the Trump presidency, has lost her bid to keep her history of bad behavior hidden.
The Washington watchdog Judicial Watch sought records from the Berkeley Unified School District about middle school teacher Yvette Felarca.
She is a “prominent figure” in the organized militant group By Any Means Necessary, also known as BAMN, which was founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League. It uses raucous militant tactics to protest conservative speakers.
But when Judicial Watch, in a routine public information request, sought “information about her violent antifa activism,” Felarca sued the school district to block the release.
Her lawsuit accuses “right-wing trolls” of causing trouble in her district, where she is “one of their most politically active and outspoken teachers.”
Further, she claimed, there have been “repeated witch-hunts by crazy right-wing trolls and by the district administration.”
Judicial Watch said the federal judge said in a hearing this week that Felarca’s claim that she has a right to withhold her public records is “entirely frivolous” and said a written order would follow.
Judicial Watch had filed its original case under the California Public Records Act.
“In Judicial Watch’s 24-year history of submitting thousands of public records requests and litigating hundreds of public records lawsuits in state and federal courts nationwide, a third party has never sued to stop a government agency from responding to one of its requests,” the watchdog group said.
“Additionally, Judicial Watch has never been required to litigate a state public records act lawsuit in a federal court. At this week’s hearing Judge Vince Chhabria, an Obama appointee at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, found the controversial teacher’s argument to be “entirely frivolous” and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over her state law claims. A written order will follow, representing a huge victory for the public’s right to information about government and the taxpayer-funded officials that operate it,” Judicial Watch said.
Felarca had claimed Judicial Watch is misusing the law for political purposes and the district should refuse to provide the information.
The claim also called Judicial Watch’s record request “illegal,” although it aligns with California law, which states that “governmental records shall be disclosed to the public, upon request, unless there is a specific reason not to do so.”
“In this case there is not, which helps explain Felarca’s preposterous argument. In her federal complaint she asserts that ‘BUSD’s pursuit of Judicial Watch’s illegal CPRA request would transform the CPRA into something unrecognizable and far-removed from its original intent of making the acts of government officials public. Instead, it would become a tool for employers and political organizations to spy on and police public employees for their political beliefs and affiliations, including concerted activities for their mutual benefit,'” Judicial Watch said.
“Judge Chhabria didn’t buy it.”
Judicial Watch said that in 2016, the teacher “and two of her radical pals were arrested and charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento.”
“Felarca was captured on video calling a man a Nazi and punching him in the stomach repeatedly while shouting obscenities at him. More than a dozen people were injured in the riot, at least 10 with stab wounds, and the capitol grounds suffered thousands of dollars in property damage. Felarca accused local authorities of a ‘witch hunt’ and tried to get the charges dropped but in May a Sacramento County judge declined,” Judicial Watch said.
A local newspaper story on the two-hour hearing quotes the judge saying: “The bottom line is this: There’s nothing … that shows that the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office planned to carry out any discrimination against the defendants.”