Defend Anti-Fascist Teacher Yvette Felarca!
Community Organizing Meeting
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
North Branch – Berkeley Public Library
1170 The Alameda, Berkeley, CA
Protest and Speak-Out at School Board Meeting
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
6:30pm Rally outside
2020 Bonar Street (at University), Berkeley California
7:30pm Speak out inside (fill out speakers cards before)
1231 Addison Street (around the corner from 2020 Bonar)
Berkeley School Board Persecutes Teacher For Helping Stop Neo-Nazis: Stop the Witch Hunt Against Yvette Felarca and Interrogation of Her Students!
Anti-fascist activist and teacher Yvette Felarca has been removed from her classroom at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Berkeley, California, for helping stop a neo-Nazi recruitment rally on the steps of the state capitol in Sacramento this summer.
After Ms. Felarca was stabbed and beaten by the fascists, terror threats were made against her and the school if she’s not fired. Instead of defending the entire community, including Ms. Felarca, the school district is capitulating to the neo-Nazis’ demands by taking disciplinary measures against her and removing her from her job.
Prior to being put on administrative leave on September 21 the school district reached back into her bank account after depositing her wages, and took them back out, suddenly challenging previously approved sick days and leaves already taken.
Since then, both current and former students have been pulled out of class and interrogated about her, without their parents’ informed consent, targeting immigrant and limited english speaking families in particular.
Ms. Felarca has been teaching ELD (English as a Second Language) and Humanities at King Middle School for a decade. She is a member of the Executive Board of her union, the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT), and is a founding member of the Equal Opportunity Now/By Any Means Necessary (EON/BAMN) Caucus, an organization working on civil rights issues.
The actions against Ms. Felarca are directly counter to the Berkeley school district’s historic embrace of the fight against racism and fascism. Three district schools are named after civil rights leaders – Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X, and Berkeley was one of the very first school districts to voluntarily desegregate.
Students from all grade levels – elementary, middle, and high school, as well as parents, fellow teachers from Berkeley and Oakland, and a diverse range of community members have been rallying in defense of Ms. Felarca. Please join us in speaking out:
Come to the school board on November 2, write to the board members, and encourage your unions, collectives, and congregations to speak out and write letters and resolutions in solidarity with Yvette Felarca.
Demand that she be reinstated immediately, repaid her full wages, and the harassment of her and her students be stopped!
Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Superintendent@berkeley.net,
Defend Yvette Felarca! Non-sectarian defense of all anti-fascists!
An injury to one is an injury to all!
More Details and Background:
Grievance of Yvette Felarca: https://occupyoakland.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Grievance-of-Yvette-Felarca1.pdf
Press conference with Yvette Felarca and her lawyer, September 28: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHhVxvNt3vY
September 21 school board meeting, public comments by Yvette Felarca, her students who demonstrated how she helped empower them, parents who praised her teaching style and expressed concern about recent racist activities in the schools, fellow workers who wondered about the implications of the district’s actions for other teachers, and community members who told personal stories about fascism in their own lives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg2giLt6Fu4
October 5 rally outside the school board meeting, and public comments inside by more students, parents, teachers, and community members speaking in defense of Ms. Felarca. When board members refused to disclose their personal positions on whether she should continue to teach, and instead scurried off into a second, unagendized “closed session”, the community held its own meeting in the board room, with many more speaking out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdwuri1LFYI
October 19 school board meeting, more public comments in defense of Ms. Felarca, including a description of an interrogation by a student, remote participation from a former student who called in from Mexico City, and a standing ovation from one of the student representatives on the board: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az4GFkzEfSo
Report of what happened in Sacramento, and the neo-Nazis involved: http://antifasac.weebly.com/home/blood-in-the-valley-why-people-put-their-lives-on-the-line-to-run-nazis-out-of-sacramento
More about the fascist organizers of the Sacramento rally: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/06/27/violent-clashes-erupt-sacramento-between-white-nationalists-and-antifascists
Details about neo-Nazis converging in Berkeley prior to their attempted rally in Sacramento: https://itsgoingdown.org/big-nazis-on-campus/
Article about racist events at Berkeley High School over the last couple of years, including racist pages in the yearbook which had to be recalled, a noose hanging from a tree, and a terror threat citing the KKK on a school computer, which resulted in a walkout by the majority of students: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/11/04/racist-threats-posted-on-berkeley-high-library-computer/