BAMN Disruptors. Justified?


February 17, 2017 by gregrabidoux2013



A war? Against whom and what?


By Any Means Necessary.

Yvette Felarca is a public grade school teacher in Northern California. She teaches at MLK in Berkeley, California.

On the side, she is also the founder of BAMN, a radical, militant leftist disruptor organization that according to their founder “will by any means necessary shut down what they see as fascist, homophobic, intolerant, Islamophobic, misogynist, hate speech.”

By any means necessary?


Does this include violence?

Yes. What part of by any means necessary don’t you understand she replied in a recent nationally televised interview.


Violence against intolerance she says is always justified.

BAMN, along with a number of other well-funded and organized militant leftist “disruptor” groups took part in, well, orchestrated really, the violent and destructive counter-protests recently at UC-Berkeley and NYU. In both occasions the protests were voicing displeasure at conservative speakers on campus. Both speakers seek to be provocative and “stir the pot.”

And “the pot” responded. With destruction, looting, vandalism, arson, and beatings.

By any means necessary these groups will beat the intolerance and hatred right out of those they oppose. They are national groups that travel “anywhere to shut down intolerance.”

And yet, these black masked “disruptors” led by militants like Yvetter Felarca, the grade school teacher were referred to by “journalists” like Wolf Blitzer as “engaged and passionate students.”


Burning buildings, looting, beatings, now that’s passion.

I wonder if militant right wing groups set foot on campuses across our country and did what these left wing militants did what Wolf and others would call them? Would they be called “engaged and passionate?”

I doubt it. Nor would they deserve such accolades either. Believe it or not folks, thugs can and do find oxygen to thrive on both the left and the right. It’s just those on the left seem to get romanticized, yet the fires they set, the beatings they deliver and the damage they make burn just as brightly, hurt just as much and cost just as much as their counterpart thugs on the right. You just wouldn’t know it by the distinct media narratives.

But here’s the bigger point. The First Amendment clearly protects both free speech and the right to peaceably protest:

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

Supreme Courts over the years have interpreted the key phrase “peaceably assemble” to mean protests. And rightly so. But now where does it say that if someone offends you, okay really, really offends you then all bets are off and you can set fire to campus buildings, administer beatings, and vandalize and destroy public property. I mean even if that campus speaker is “like just so intolerant.”


A war against whom? What?

Now, to be fair, a number of court cases over the years have wrestled with the notion of just what constitutes unlawful and unprotected free speech. And the doctrine that has been more or less settled is speech that seeks to incite imminent violence or rioting.

So, what are the takeaways so far?

Well, you can say and do a number of really offensive things and be protected under our Constitution and you can respond in a number of very public and high profile ways in response and be equally protected. Both of which a number of people can find irritating, offensive and wish would go away. So be it. That’s democracy in action and it’s messy but it sure beats actual fascism and any other “ism.”

But, and this is a fact that many of my left leaning and sincere peace-loving friends are either blissfully ignorant of or simply don’t wish to acknowledge-Protests today aren’t what they used to be.


Resist what?

Protesters today, er, excuse me, Disruptors, are with some exceptions, very well funded, organized, calculating and incredibly self-righteous. In other words, their leaders like Ms. Felarca believe they get to decide what is fascist, homophobic, Islamophobic and they get to shut “it” down by any means necessary. And if heads get bashed in the process, campus buildings get torched, and shops get looted and smashed. So be it. That is the price apparently to rid our society of all that is offensive, rude and dangerous.

But who will keep us safe from the folks at BAMN when they turn their black-masked gaze at the rest of us?

I’ll close with a simple yet I believe profound question-

Should we allow free speech, even when it is offensive and intolerant to be “shut down” by any means necessary?

And are you okay with teachers like Ms. Felarca teaching our kids her own brand of justice? As she says, a kid is never too young to learn how to arm themselves against hate.

I wonder.

Is this a case of 2 wrongs don’t make a right?

Or are these BAMN disruptors justified?







30 thoughts on “BAMN Disruptors. Justified?

  1. Amy G says:

    thuggery is thuggery. I don’t care right or left and BAMN is hypocritical. They are no better than what they want to shut down.

  2. Amber T says:

    Felarca is a criminal. I’d take my kid out of school before I let the likes of that criminal “teach” her anything. What a joke.

  3. Bradley H says:

    The Right is just scared now cuz the Left is just standing up to them.

    • Thomas R. says:


      The point is not political, the point is if the actions of groups such as Mrs. Felraca’s BAMN are allowed or even encouraged then all civil discourse will be lost. The Right as you refer to them will only return in larger numbers and return the violence in kind. This is not democracy or free speech, this is a violation of others rights. Individual rights and freedoms stop when they impinge or remove the rights of others. A group exercising a philosophy of “by any means necessary” to include physical violence to stop those who they disagree with from speaking is un-American is in fact a single party militant citizenry.

      • James D. L. says:

        Thomas, couldn’t agree more. BAMN is not the answer, ignoring hate speech is, countering it with peaceful action is, or has Felarca not learned MLK in her own classes?

  4. Vance G says:

    when I see all these protesters I always think don’t they work? have jobs? Now I know when not setting fires and causing destruction they teach grade schoolers. That actually makes sense. Do they get time and a half for militant protests?

    • Lexis Lloyd says:

      Your response literally made me laugh out loud! I can definitely see your perspective on this issue. I’m right with you with wondering how these protesters have all the time in the world to do the things they do. I think protests are a good way to have your voice heard, but some people take it to the extreme and they end up making themselves look bad. They start to lose credibility with some of their actions, signs, and even outfits. It’s one thing to have organized chaos, but just chaos alone is a whole other category when it comes to some of these protests.

    • Thomas R. says:

      If they work for the NEA or the National Federation of Teachers they most assuredly do. The teachers unions are becoming a hostile lobbing group, that enforces a mandatory pay to work construct on the people the claim to be advocating for.

      However as we all know most teachers are lovely people, that truly want to improve the lives of their students. It is the bad actors in any group that get the headlines and make people form a negative view of that demographic. In this case elementary school teachers of all people. Finger painting protest signs, choreographed marches are not elements of an education we as a nation want for our children.

  5. Savianna says:

    Personally, I am all for protests and having a voice, but “by any means necessary” is out of control. The point is to fight with words, hence free speech, not by burning, fighting, and destruction. At that point your violating someone else’s rights to free speech and your showing that it is okay to do that. You can’t fight words with violence because it then only turns to violence fighting violence which is not what we want. Someone will fight back, someone will get hurt, and then what? As a grade school teacher, I do commend her ability to hold her ground because someone in her position would be afraid. There are a lot of conflicting stand points between her job and her affiliation and commitment to BAMN. You teach children all day long that they shouldn’t fight or get into any trouble, but then go out and do the exact opposite. I know they are only school grade kids, but they observe and listen to things a lot more than we realize. They probably over hear their parents talking about their teacher, listening to news, etc. I agree with BAMN’s intentions but their approach needs some tweaking.

  6. Cynthia H says:

    Ms. Felarca is a self-righteous thug. She should be locked up. end of story. Who is she that she gets to decide what is and is not speech that should be heard or shut-down. And she has no business teaching kids anything.

  7. Amelie H J says:

    I wonder if the far right had a group called BAMN funded by the Koch brothers how long it would take for the mainstream media to lose its mind and scream for its destruction?? The left sees this thug Felarca as some kind of hero, what a load.

  8. James D. L. says:

    It’s both sides, Dr. R is correct, protests are big business today. Anyone who denies it just ain’t paying attention.

  9. Elizabeth McLean says:

    It is terrifying that protests like this are gaining in popularity across the country and very little is being done to stop the insanity. This country was founded upon revolution so the desire to protest against injustices has become ingrained in the American psyche. However, protests which lead to rampant destruction of personal and public property, in my opinion, cross the line.

  10. I feel that Yvette Felarca is undermining her own efforts. People fail to realize that if the government were to deny one person/group the right of free speech…it would have to be denied to ALL. Yvette Ferlarca doesnt have the legal right to deny others the right to speech, especially by breaking the law herself. The right to protest, assemble, and freedom of speech, excludes making terrorism threats, assault, or damaging property. As mentioned earlier,

    “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

    Justice Scalia also advised that “The first axiom of the First Amendment is this: As a general rule, the state has no power to ban speech on the basis of its content” (Newseum, 2015).

    There will always be fascist, homophobic, intolerant, Islamophobic, and misogynist. First, nobody has to agree with someones political preference, sexuality, religion, etc. People tend to think it is ok to defend their own perspectives, while attacking others. There has to be a level of respect where people are able to say Hey, I have a different opinion/emotion, but you stay in your lane and I’ll stay in mine. The only way to address facist, homophobic, intolerant, Islamophobic, and misogynist people is through educating them…showing a different perspective. Even then, you have to be will to accept that they are entitled to feel/believe whatever they choose. I only take issue with hateful people when they try to infringe on my rights or abuse their privilege/title to make others suffer.

    It is a shame that she is a teacher, yet fails to teach students the right way to use their rights. It opens the door to not only more violence, but making people fixate on her rather than the message she claims she is trying to get across. I can not imagine still being employed as a teach with a video of myself yelling at a neo-Nazi at a Sacramento rally. On the video that is currently circulating online,Felarca is seen punching the man several times in the stomach, yelling “Get the fuck off our streets,” and then pulling his backpack before she was injured.

    Not only did Felarca get hurt, she also put students at risk. She took attention away from the immoral wrong inflicted by the “neo-Nazi’s” words and made herself look like the aggressor. Furthermore, she may loose her ability to educate generations of students and create future leaders. Also, Many people are also unaware of programs like Cointelpro that the government has used to track groups that are considered terrorist or anti-government. It is dangerous to break the law, no matter how “passionate” we become about the issue at hand. The thing is the same people making the hateful speeches feel just as compassionate about the things they hate. She is not going to intimidate them into stopping, no more than they will intimidate her into refraining from retaliating.

    Bottom line is there is a legal way to oppose hateful speeches. Violence only allows the same hateful people to it as a distraction from the original cause. If Yvette Felarca really wants to draw attention to the people that are spewing hate, she should hit them where it really hurts…through their pockets. She should also educate her students about the proper way to handle things and why previous tactics and court cases may have not been successful. Hate can die down by educating future generations to have a different mindset.

    The whole world is never going to come together with one particular perspective or religion, so its unrealistic to expect people not to harness some form of prejudice based on their upbringing. It is realistic to use your legal right to ensure your rights are not violated…and make sure you don’t violate the same law you want others to uphold by using violence.

    Newseum Institute (2015).

  11. Nathan Daley says:

    When this groups first starting getting its momentum, I tried my hardest not throw my hands up in frustration. I understand that people are frustrated and angered by the leadership, but at the same time I believe they are over reacting. Anytime organizations or protestors begin to use violence or spew hate rhetoric, it is a problem. It’s dangerous when you have a group like BAMN voicing hatred and inspiring people to be hostile. For Yvette to be a educator, I’m shocked that she couldn’t find a more productive and effective way to fight her cause. She is leading a poor example, instead of getting people together to take the fight politically, they use violence to get people’s attention. I believe violent protest is not only illegal, but it also discredits the movement. They should be arrested and fined for all the foolishness. All this violent protesting only encourages more civil unrest.

  12. Erica DeVane says:

    The use of violence is not justifiable as a response to an opposing opinion. We’re not back in the wild, wild west where gun fights break out at random in the streets. Denying someone else of their free speech and property is a crime unto itself. Peaceably protesting is protected under the 1st amendment. Violence, however, is prosecuted under federal, state, and local criminal codes. The fact that a public grade school teacher is behind one of these groups should be shocking, but in today’s world nothing is quite shocking any more. Instead of truly fighting against hate, these groups are breeding grounds for spreading hate.

  13. Nancy Sanders says:

    I believe that this is a case of two wrongs don’t make a right. While I probably agree with them for a large majority of what they are protesting against, I do not support or agree with making your voice heard at the expense of someone’s safety. The fact that they wear masks bothers me. If you are committed to your cause, own it. Stand up for it, be a face for it. By being a face for it you take the risk of accountability. This is why protesting has become so important. People giving a visual message to their discontent is powerful. Violence shifts your message and makes you the focal point of the attention, not your cause. You risk losing supporters when you chose to engage this way. Most people will not put themselves or their families at risk – even if it is a cause they believe in. The world is too unpredictable now. The stakes are too high. Too many people die for no real justifiable reason. Even a peaceful protest can put you at risk. Will someone retaliate against you? Will you be arrested? Not issues that organizers want to hear about, but real risks that supporters take into consideration. Violence makes you common, not unique. It shuts people down and ultimately discredits you. We live in a free society. Not everyone feels safe on any given Tuesday. I respect this person’s right to her opinion and her right to protest. I would not want her teaching her beliefs to my child. I would not want to participate in an event where she would be advocating with violence. Passion is an exceptional thing. I believe that imposing your will violently on someone else is criminal irrespective of your motivation.

  14. April Brauda says:

    This is an incredibly loaded post that can be seen from many different perspectives. Ultimately, if you are truly a pacifist then the belief that violence is NEVER justified then you can certainly deeming these protests immoral is indeed consistent with your views. If you are in fact a pacifist though, you would also believe our nation came to be through unjust means as the revolutionary war was quite violent. However, I feel there are cases where violence may in fact be necessary, such as in cases where you may avoid undue harm on a group or individual that a person plans on inflict. I do not feel these actions need always be reactionary but rather could be preemptive as well, we need not always wait for tragedy to occur whenever it is foreshadowed. For example, I would will that the Nazi regime was stopped by whatever means at the point of which they chose to discriminate against a group of people for a characteristic they did not choose that not harm others – moving them into poor and forcing them to mark themselves. I would choose that such a movement be stopped before all the innocent lives were taken, as these movements do often make their intentions clear. Now is violence always justified? No. Absolutely not…which is where ethics come into play and we have to consider the value and possible harm for any given situation, however, I do not feel infringing upon people’s rights even be taken lightly.

    I also want to make it clear I have no disregarded right-winged protests of similar nature. In 1998 an abortion clinic was bombed in Alabama by a violent opponent of abortion. His intentions were not unlike the previously mentioned leftist groups, he was acting passionately against what he considered unjust and immoral. He truly believed his actions were for the right reasons, as he was drawing attention to a clinic that stopped innocent lives from living. Morality varies from person to person after all, which is why ethics are quite important. I do feel there is a large difference between most leftist and rightest protests though, the left attempts to expand and ensure human rights while the other side of the spectrum seeks to limit. As rational individuals, I believe we should have the ability to choose for ourselves and be allowed to live however we see fit as long as we do not harm others and I have a difficult time finding an argument that challenges that belief.

    • Dale T says:

      I totally disagree, it is the left that are being thugs in their blind hatred of Trump, they don’t seek to expand or protect the rights of anyone who doesn’t buy into their socialist orthodoxy. They are just fine like that Felarca with beating anyone who disagrees with them.

      • April Brauda says:

        ???? I love your use of the loaded word “thug” to describe left leaning individuals, interesting how a single word can seem powerful yet say nothing. Also…blind hatred? I think your assumed hatred is quite baseless and irrelevant. You stated “they don’t seek to expand or protect the rights of anyone who doesn’t buy into their socialist orthodoxy”…exactly which people’s rights are you referring to? The socialist concept in itself is to level the playing field, resulting in less gaps in opportunity within individuals. And when the the rights fought for by the left ever been conditional? Are you assuming gay/trans people are huge supporters of the “socialist agenda”?

  15. Toyia Barnes says:

    Every free-speech argument has a 1st Amendment right to be heard despite its repugnancy. BAMN should use a tactic that diffuses the power of hate-filled rhetoric, as long as it does not hinder others presentation rights.

  16. Iwilcox says:

    I am torn on this one. I do feel Felarca has the right to protest on what she feels is injustice. But she needs to keep in mind that within her organization BAMN people may start to associate the doings of this group with her job in public administration. I do think protests today have changed from protests in the past. Today protesters are less tolerant of police officials making attacks against them due to their protection under the constitution. In my opinion, there is a way to make a point without using extreme violence. Being out protesting is a point made well because some people do have jobs and other obligations they have to commit to, but instead they are out sacrificing these obligations for protesting.

  17. gljackson33 says:

    Felarca, although she voices no regrets over the destruction of private and public property on the UC campus, and she also does not feel that she is wrong. I think that violence and destruction does not solve anything. A peaceful protest is what I stand for. She think that the left have been way to timid so she felt the need to shake up things a bit. She really need to read from Martin Luther King book and not Malcolm X.

    • Thomas R. says:

      I’m always intrigued when a ideology uses the might makes right position to further a everyone is due equal treatment argument. The argument is essentially that their position on what is acceptable is the only acceptable view point, disagree and I will beat you until you agree. (really tolerant) In the event that you disagree you are guilty in of “what they see as fascist, homophobic, intolerant, Islamophobic, misogynist, hate speech.” (this is by the way the opposite of tolerance) True tolerance is looking for a equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without the threat of violence or legal retribution for a differing opinion. (note: this does not extend to the removal of rights through due process)

      The lack of tolerance by the group BAMN in the statement that intolerance should be met with a “by any means necessary” violent response to stifle all dissent to a groups position is mind numbingly stupid.

  18. Amber Grant says:

    Felarca has a right to state her opinion and her feelings but using ‘by any means necessary’ is too much. I believe that violence and yelling does not solve anything but actually irritates the situation. Now there are a lot of people who say that she shouldn’t be teaching children but you have to realize that her beliefs and opinion don’t and shouldn’t affect her personal work. Just like if someone’s boss found out that their employee had strong beliefs or did activities that they didn’t agree with, that person wouldn’t want to be fired based off of that plus that’s a lawsuit. Bottom line is, if she isn’t pushing her beliefs on the children, she shouldn’t be fired or stop teaching children.

  19. Kimberly Warren says:

    Wise advice that I learned as a young adult is learning how actions have consequences. As an advocate for free speech and standing up for what you morally believe in, I admire protesting, but protesting that is effective! I do not advocate protesting that is violent but protesting that has a clear message or standpoint; what the individual or organization is trying to accomplish; and sheds light on how other individuals or officials can help, even if they disagree. As I also learned, sometimes “the loudest ones in the room are the weakest ones in the room.” Now, that statement could be taken out of context in relation to protesting, but my point is this: As protest have continued to grow even more violent and aggressive, I think that this is a sign that people in our country are crying out for help, and sadly some just for mere attention. Rather than scorn these protestors and flip the channel or skip the post, I think that we need to reevaluate those groups that are not feeling heard; that are demanding help while not understanding how to to ask for help; and groups that need guidance on more effective ways to use their constitutional rights.

  20. J. Lambert says:

    Violence is not and will never be the answer. Those that know the story of Jesus Christ know this, learned this and believe this. And those that witnessed and/or read about the life of Dr. King were or are reminded of this. Protest is important, but peaceful protest is more effective. And respect of others regardless of their beliefs is paramount.

  21. Bully mentality what gives the right to determine who can voice their concerns and what concerns are worthy of protest. Some people take things too far when it comes to violating people’s constitutional right.s

  22. Joe Pennino says:

    The BAMN group and its flawed ideology are just as ridiculous as the KKK or any other idealized hate group that justifies violence against those with ideas counter to what they believe. There are so many topics today that are polarizing including abortion, gay marriage, government healthcare, etc. What kind of country would this be if groups had free reign to set fire and inflict violence on those in favor or against these policies? For that matter, why even have elections or vote on anything if all you really have to do is violently beat those who you disagree with? I learned that Tuesday, police arrested Yvette Felarca and other members of the group By Any Means Necessary for blocking a rally by chasing, hitting, and even stabbing members of the Traditional Worker’s Party, a white supremacist group that had taken out permits for a rally on the west steps of the state capitol. I just hope she is no longer gainfully employed as a public school teacher.

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