Berkeley College Republicans allege harassment by ‘leftist groups’

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Jasmany Flores/File

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The Berkeley College Republicans has alleged that liberal activist groups such as Antifa-related organizations are stalking and harassing conservatives in Berkeley.

BCR External Vice President Naweed Tahmas cited several examples of harassment, including restroom graffiti at Morgan Hall and a tweet posted by the user @berkeleyantifa disclosing the location of BCR members. UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich said, however, that campus police has not recently received any reports of harassment from either BCR or individual conservative students.

On Wednesday, the Berkeley Antifa Twitter account identified several BCR members, including Tahmas, BCR President Troy Worden, Ashton Whitty, Matt Ronnau and Angelie Castaneda in a tweet. The tweet alleged that they were holding a BCR meeting after drinking with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and right-wing activist Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman at Pappy’s Grill and Sports Bar. But according to Tahmas, the BCR members never went to Pappy’s, and he said they were getting dinner together informally as friends, not for an official meeting.

“Conservatives in Berkeley are routinely targeted, harassed, and stalked,” Tahmas said in an email. “It has become socially acceptable in Berkeley to physically beat someone for being a conservative.”

A student found and reported to Tahmas graffiti stating “Kill All BCRS” in a Morgan Hall bathroom stall Friday. Tahmas said in an email that these incidents are “clear signs of desperation,” adding that BCR is “breaking the shackles of leftist control over our university.”

Reich said that several incidents of harassment were reported last semester, such as the destruction of a BCR sign on Sproul Plaza, a cyber attack that leaked the private information of several BCR members and an assault on two members of BCR.

“The university condemns any harassment of students, particularly harassment that is based on who they are or what they believe,” campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said.

But Mogulof added that since there are no reports of harassment, the university has “no reason to believe that any campus affiliates have been engaged in any of these recent incidents.”

Yvette Felarca, an organizer for the prominent leftist activist group By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, recently filed a restraining order against Worden, who she alleged stalked her continuously from February to August.

Felarca denied that BAMN is involved with any attacks against BCR and alleged that BCR members have attempted to interrupt BAMN meetings and assaulted BAMN members.

“This has not been mutual. These have been the actions of the racists and misogynists attacking student groups,” Felarca alleged. “They try to use the free-speech claim to get away with stalking members of the community.”

Mogulof said anyone who has experienced or witnessed the alleged harassment should report the incidents to UCPD or the Division of Student Affairs.

“That is the only way that people can be held accountable for intolerable actions,” Mogulof said.

Contact Naira Khalid at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @nairakhalid.