Stop the Collusion by Police & DA with Nazis: Drop the Charges on Felarca, Williams & Paz!

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Stop the Collusion by the California Highway Patrol and the Sacramento District Attorney with Fascists

Drop the Charges Against Yvette Felarca, Mike Williams, and Porfirio Paz

“This is a textbook case of a political witch-hunt and selective prosecution.”
-- Shanta Driver, lead defense attorney for Yvette Felarca

Three anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters, Yvette Felarca, Michael Williams, and Porfirio Paz are demanding that Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Judge Kevin J. McCormick dismiss felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the anti-fascist protest in Sacramento, CA in 2016. Court documents, recordings, and pictures obtained by Felarca’s defense attorneys (links to motion and exhibits below) reveal a textbook case of a political witch-hunt and selective prosecution by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

On June 26, 2016 white supremacists affiliated with the violent neo-Nazi organizations, Traditionalist Workers Party (TWP) and Golden State Skinheads (GSS) came to the California State Capital armed with knives, clubs, and improvised spears. The neo-Nazi’s stabbed at least eight anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters, one of whom was stabbed five times in his chest, stomach, and hand. Others were bludgeoned in the head by the fascists, had their skull fractured and bones broken, and were taken away in ambulances. The fascists who conducted the attack walked away, while unarmed anti-racist protesters left in ambulances, lucky to leave with their lives. Over one hundred California Highway Patrol (CHP) and other police were present. They did not protect the protesters from the neo-Nazi assault.

The cover-up began immediately, with police interrogating and harassing stabbed and injured counter-protesters in their hospital beds. Court documents obtained by Felarca’s defense attorneys cite numerous examples of CHP officers working directly with the TWP, treating the white nationalist group as victims and the anti-fascists as suspects. The Guardian's expose of the police cover-up reports:

In one phone call with Doug McCormack, identified by police as the TWP affiliate who acquired the permit for the Sacramento rally, CHP investigator Donovan Ayres warned him that police might have to release his name in response to a public records requests. The officer said he would try to protect McCormack.

“I’m gonna suggest that we hold that or redact your name or something until this gets resolved,” Ayres told McCormack, adding that he didn’t know who had requested records of the permit and noting, “If I did, I would tell you.”

Ayres’ reports noted that McCormack was armed at the rally with a knife.

The article also states:

Officers also worked with TWP member Derik Punneo to try to identify anti-fascist activists, recordings revealed. Officers interviewed Punneo in jail after he was arrested for an unrelated domestic violence charge. Audio recordings captured investigators saying they brought photos to show him, hoping he could help them identify anti-fascist activists.

The officers said, “We’re pretty much going after them,” and assured him: “We’re looking at you as a victim.”

Ayres’s report noted that Punneo was armed with a knife at the neo-Nazi rally and that one stabbing victim told officers he believed Punneo was responsible. Using video footage, Ayres also noted that Punneo was “in the vicinity” of another victim at the time he was injured, but the officer said the evidence ultimately wasn’t clear.

Punneo and McCormack, who could not be reached for comment, were not charged. Ayres’s report included images and names of three other TWP-affiliated men who he said were armed with knives, but who also have faced no charges.”

(Reported by Sam Levin, The Guardian, Feb. 9, 2018)

Over a year later, in the summer of 2017, Sacramento District Attorney (DA) Anne Marie Schubert charged three anti-racist protesters with false felony and misdemeanor charges, while none of the fascists with knives who were responsible for the stabbings were charged.  Some of the very people who were stabbed and bludgeoned by fascist thugs, such as Yvette Felarca, are now facing prosecution.

Yvette Felarca, Michael Williams, and Porfirio Paz are innocent of the charges against them. Their attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the charges by Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. Their hearing is scheduled for April 20, 2018 in Sacramento.

Only weeks after Felarca, Williams, and Paz were arrested, TWP, the same neo-Nazi organization that attempted to murder anti-racists in Sacramento, mobilized for Charlottesville. Thanks to the cover-up and collusion of the CHP and DA, the TWP was emboldened by having gotten away with attempted murder Sacramento. In Charlottesville, the TWP and other white supremacist groups came out in force. Lynch-mobs terrorized black community members, Jewish worshippers and synagogues, and college students, ultimately murdering Heather Heyer.

Police discrimination and collusion with neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups has long been known to civil rights and anti-fascist activists. Now, with the election of Donald Trump, white supremacists and fascists have been on the rise, becoming bolder and more dangerous, arriving armed to demonstrations, stabbing or running over people in broad daylight at protests, or murdering people on trains.

Defeating these fascist thugs is essential to protect our communities and to defeat Donald Trump’s racist vision for America. Defending bold and outspoken civil rights and anti-fascist organizers who protest white supremacy is essential to our victory.

Therefore We the Undersigned,

  • Demand an end to the cover-up and collusion by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert with fascists.
  • Call for an end to the discriminatory prosecution of anti-racist and anti-fascist activists. Drop the charges against Yvette Felarca, Mike Williams, and Porfirio Paz.

 

Links:

DONATE TO THE DEFENSE CAMPAIGN

BRIEF: Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss

EVIDENCE: Defendants’ Exhibits and Declarations

"California police worked with neo-Nazis to pursue 'anti-racist' activists, documents show" (The Guardian - Feb. 9, 2018)

VIDEO: "Police Teaming Up With Neo-Nazis Now" (The Young Turks - Feb. 9, 2018)

"California Police Asked Neo-Nazis to Identify 'Anti-Racist' Activists" (Newsweek - Feb. 10, 2018)

"Protesters Charged In Clash With Hate Group Accuse California Cops Of Collusion" (Huffington Post - Feb. 10, 2018)

BAMN page to defend Yvette Felarca



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