Mayor Jesse Arreguin has not been the mayor of Berkeley, California for long; he was elected in November. He is the first Latino mayor of the city and allegedly the youngest as well. Both those and the fact that he is a Democrat are overshadowed by the recent discovery that he is a member of the infamous “By Any Means Necessary” (BAMN) group.
Amongst the claims of civil rights and equality on their website, BAMN’s core principle boils down to their name. They are a committed to obtaining their goals and “will employ whatever means are necessary to oppose and defeat these attacks on the democratic and egalitarian aspirations and struggles of our people.” They are part of the Antifa movement, often leading the vicious outbursts we have been seeing from the left.
They have been a part of fighting for equality, at least the way they view it, since 1995. They have been mired in many lawsuits subsequently, mostly against racial policies they deem unfair. If their fighting was kept to arguments in the courtroom, there would be no issues. However, the legal route is not one they are willing to take on most occasions.
The group focuses mainly on the college and high school population where they can affect impressionable minds. Opponents of the group’s method have accused them of “mob” scenes. One of their first major events took place in 2005. They disagreed with a Michigan State Board of Canvassers over a ballot question. Rather than engaging in a purposeful debate, they disrupted a meeting resorting to the tactics we see often in town halls now; shouting over speakers and overturning tables and chairs.
Two protests in December of 2104 saw highways shut down and massive property damage as well as violence. BAMN joined with Black Lives Matter to protest law enforcement. 210 people were arrested and their lawyer, Ronald Cruz, demanded all charges be dropped because BAMN claimed the police were the aggressors in the incidents.
Last summer, the group took to the streets of Sacramento to protest a rally being held by the Traditionalist Workers Party. Police testimony and video that was taken by BAMN members showed that the group was the instigator of the violence that ended in 10 people being hospitalized with stab wounds.
These are the types of violent tactics we have seen being used across the country since President Trump was elected. Liberals have decided that since they didn’t win, they are going to make everyone suffer along with them. The results of their overblown temper tantrums have been disastrous; hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage, hundreds injured, and free speech ground to a halt.
Berkeley College has been an incredibly active hot spot for these liberal “protests.” When conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at the university, liberals were content to destroy the campus and surrounding city if they had to in their efforts to stop the “fascist.” Their uprising was successful and bolstered the efforts of other groups.
One disturbing detail of that riot and others have been the lack of police intervention. A recent video from the latest conflict in Berkeley, less than two weeks ago, shows two officers looking more than a little frustrated at having to stay on the sidelines.
The cameraman asks, “Hey, how come you guys are hanging back?” Shrugging in what looks to be irritation one officer replies, “That would be a good question for the chief of police.”
The other officer suggests the citizen speak with their public information officer. Not an unusual stance for an on-duty policeman in the middle of yet another public relations disaster. On the heels of the other officer’s comment and the obvious vexation of the two, the implication of that their hands have been tied by someone is strong.
Thus, we come full circle to Mayor Arreguin and his public, though so far silent, endorsement of BAMN. It was discovered that Arreguin belongs to BAMN’s Facebook group and is friends with one of their leaders on social media, Yvette Felarca. She and her friends can be seen in the following video swearing and assaulting an unarmed protestor. Police conveniently wait until the man is outnumbered four or five to one and beaten to the ground before they intervene.
A day after the story broke, the group was removed from the mayor’s page. One day too late since it was already captured by the conservative media. There is no removing the proof of the group itself and their proud proclamations of their goals. Mayor Arreguin’s Facebook friend and BAMN leader Yvette Felarca gave an interview after the Berkeley riot against Milo, defending and justifying.
“I was there and there were thousands of people out there who were united. It was a mass protest. It was a militant protest. And everyone was there to shut him down. And so whatever it was going to take to do that.” She continued with a smug smile, “We were all there with a united cause and we were stunningly successful.”
Publically, Mayor Arreguin made some weak comments discouraging the violence. Yet his Tweets seemed to confirm the obvious belief; by any means necessary. If the police department is being held back from interfering with riots, until the left starts losing, of course, the mayor’s office would be a logical place to look for the source of those orders. Mayor Arreguin needs a better answer to these questions than just removing a group from his Facebook page.
Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn't welcome in our community.
— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017
Hate speech may not be welcome in Berkeley but violence and prohibiting the Constitution certainly seem to be.