Hero teacher filmed punching neo-Nazi enters self defense plea

Berkeley middle school humanities teacher Yvette Falarca appeared in court to enter a plea against felony assault charges she faces for punching a neo-Nazi at a far-right rally in Sacramento in 2016. Falarca was filmed slugging a member of the white supremacist  Traditionalist Worker Party and shouting “get the fuck out of our streets!” According to Berkleyside, Falarca was arrested last month on misdemeanor charges that she incited a riot, in addition to the assault charge. Felarca was briefly put on leave by the Berkeley school district following the release of the video last year, but was reinstated six weeks later amid tremendous support in the community.

The 47-year-old, who is a member of the anti-fascist group By Any Means Necessary, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on the grounds that she acted in self-defense.

“Standing up against fascism and the rise of Nazism and fascism in this country is not a crime,” Felarca said in court. “We have the right to defend ourselves.”

The Traditionalist Worker Party made its presence known at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which resulted in the murder of a 32-year-old counter-protester. Co-founder Matt Parrott made a big impression when he fell on his ass while jumping around and ranting at reporters.

[Screengrab: KPIX]