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Thursday, January 31, 2019

LAURA LOOMER DRESSES UP AS RACIST CARICATURE AND GETS ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING AT GOVERNOR’S MANSION


Screencap of Frontline America video showing Laura Loomer and Ben Berquam getting arrested for trespassing.

By ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH

“How many people do we have on the livestream so far?” Laura Loomer asks, standing on the sidewalk by the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento. It’s Wednesday January 30th.

Ben Bergquam grins in the foreground. “I have to do my botox smile.” He says.

They’re both dressed as racist caricatures of Mexican people, wearing ponchos and oversized sombreros. Bergquam has a fake mustache on. They do bits and say hello to their followers on the livestream in a voice like the Frito Bandito. Loomer has a tent set up with photos of people she describes as “victims of illegal immigrants.”

“No hate! No Fear! Rapists are welcome here! No hate! No fear! Drug dealers are welcome here!” Loomer and her supporters chant.

She and Bergquam, who hosts the 1680 AM Radio program “Frontline America,” will soon step on the mansion’s lawn and get arrested for trespassing.

A crowd of around twelve, some of whom are livestreaming the event, stand around the three-foot-high fence. Antonio Foreman, Baked Alaska’s bodyguard during Unite the Right, is there apparently acting as security for Loomer.

At about 1:22PM, an officer tells Berquam and Loomer they’re trespassing and gives them a chance to leave before they risk arrest.

“What’s trespassing? I thought this was open borders in California?” Loomer says to the officer.

“Why would [Governor] Gavin [Newsom] invite us to California and then say we can’t go into his house?” Bergquam asks as part of his bit. At this point in the video he’s given up on the accent.

Loomer’s latest stunt is similar to the one she pulled at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Napa Valley home about two weeks ago, where she hired three undocumented laborers to trespass on her property. Loomer wanted to confront Pelosi about having a wall around her home while opposing Trump’s border wall. According to the Daily Beast, these undocumented men may not have understood who she was or that they were committing a crime. Representatives for Pelosi declined to press charges on the men. Loomer’s group, which included Foreman, complained that the men weren’t deported.

“This feels like a bigoted action,” Bergquam says as he and Loomer are being handcuffed at around 1:30PM.

Loomer has a history of publicity stunts and tirades. She claimed survivors of the 2018 Parkland shooting were “being fed lines” while working for InfoWars. She was recently kicked off Twitter for using common Islamophobic tropes in a rant against newly elected Representative Ilhan Omar.

Bergquam is a self-identified Proud Boy who frequently attends far-right rallies to livestream them for his show. He was at the bloody April 15th, 2017 rally in Berkeley attended by white nationalist groups like Rise Above Movement and Identity Evropa as well as militias like the Oath Keepers and the III%ers. On Bergquam’s website he says he “believes that abortion is murder, homosexuality is sin, and transgenderism is insane.” He also claims “[w]e are in the midst of a cultural civil war” whose enemies include the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Black Lives Matter.

Officers allow live-streamers and supporters to get right next to Loomer and Bergquam as they’re put in the back of squad cars. The officer holding Loomer’s handcuffs waits so she can make a statement to the livestreamers. She repeats far-right talking points about politicians like Pelosi and Newsom letting rapists and cop-killers into the country and giving them benefits like free housing.

“You have a journalist being arrested in Gavin Newsom’s yard but then illegal aliens last week were not arrested. They’re here illegally!” Loomer says as she’s being lead into a squad car.

While waiting to pick up Loomer and Bergquam from jail, one of Bergquam’s assistants took to Frontline America’s livestream to complain to nearby police officers that a restaurant was refusing to serve them because of their pro-Trump gear.

“Guys, call this place. Go ahead and Yelp ‘em,” he said on livestream as someone from the restaurant attempted to explain the group was making other patrons uncomfortable.

“Call ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] they probably have illegals working for them and they’re afraid,” commenter Julian Kruger said on the livestream. Multiple posters implored those watching the stream to report the restaurant to ICE on the baseless assumption there were “illegals” in the restaurant. The phone number of the restaurant was posted multiple times in the comments.

Loomer and Bergquam were booked at 4:33PM and 4:14PM respectively according to the Sacramento Sheriff’s office and released some time between 8 and 9PM. They’re both due at Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse, Department 3 at 8:30 AM today.

Bergquam posted a video update at 11:33PM in character as “Poncho Benny,” fake moustache, sombrero and all. He broke character after repeating his bit about Gavin Newsom apparently personally not letting him on the Governor’s Mansion property despite what Bergquam describes as an open border policy. He breaks character to complain about the smell of “bums that literally crapped themselves” in his holding cell while he was in jail.

“It was worth every second of it to have Gavin Newsom have to watch us get kicked off his lawn. He said everyone is welcome and we tested him on that and it’s not true,” Bergquam said, returning to his bit character voice. “Today I identified as an illegal and you kicked me off your property and that’s not cool.”

One commenter on the video posted a picture of the Frito Bandito.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

CANCELLED YELLOW VEST PROTESTS IN SACRAMENTO HIGHLIGHTS CONTEST OVER THE MOVEMENT’S MEANING


By ABNER HAUGE|LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH

 
Left-leaning Yellow Vest Sac's flyer warning about far-right groups attending a now-cancelled Yellow Vest protest at the State Capitol building in Sacramento.
There’s a fight in the United States over what exactly the Yellow Vests stand for.

A Facebook group called Yellow Vest Protest Sacramento planned a demonstration in front of the State Capitol building for tomorrow morning. The Facebook event and the Yellow Vest Protest Sacramento page have since been deleted for unknown reasons. The event is still viewable on the website carpe-diem.events. The description says it’s a “forum to gather public opinion on a peaceful protest of unconstitutional gun laws and excessive taxation.”

A left-leaning group called Yellow Vest Sac created an event in opposition slated for the same time and place. It’s since been cancelled due to bad weather.

A flyer posted on their Facebook page on January 1st reads “SHOW UP JAN 7. “Yellow Vest Protest Sac” is organizing a rally at the Sacramento Capital building. In attendance will be members of the State of Jefferson, New California, III% Militia, and other groups affiliated with right wing violence and a history of committing hate crimes. SACRAMENTO IS PROGRESSIVE!”

Numerous members of the III% Militia have been charged with hate crimes, including the firebombing of a mosque.

The State of Jefferson is a project to split parts of northern California and southern Oregon off into a new state with more right-libertarian laws. The Oath Keepers militia is listed among its supporters, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The New California movement is a similar effort to split the more right-leaning rural parts of the state into a new state

The left-leaning Yellow Vest Sac group says their demands are for healthcare, education, “workers rights over corporate profit,” housing, ending police violence, and an “end [to] enforced austerity.”

James Lee Clark, an activism coordinator at the Sacramento Green Party, shared the flyer on January 2nd. He urged people to come and go in groups “as there is a possibility that there may be some far right individuals in attendance.”

Two years ago, a rally at the State Capitol by the white nationalist Traditionalist Workers Party ended in a brawl with counter-protesters and multiple stabbings by neo-Nazi gang members.

In the top Facebook photo results for “Yellow Vest Sacramento,” there’s a picture of a bungee chord tied in a noose in front of a Confederate flag.

Dixon's photo of a noose in front of a Confederate flag captioned "Monday Justice comes the the [sic] Sacramento Capitol. Yellow Vest March. Demand Democrats hang."

“Monday Justice comes the the [sic] Sacramento Capitol. Yellow Vest March. Demand Democrats hang,” writes the photo’s author, Claude E Dixon.

The photo was posted yesterday, but it was repurposed from an earlier post that Dixon captioned “Democrats should fear what is coming. Americans all we need to do is wake up. I saw it at the MAGA rallies. Time to come together as a country. Voting didn't work, and if they are not stopped we lose in 2020. How much more do we tolerate? TIME FOR ACTION.”

Clark said in his Facebook post that “[m]any who have signed up for the right wing version [of the event] are regular conservatives who can be brought into the working class struggle.”

The Yellow Vest movement started in France as a popular reaction to austerity measures–policies by the government meant to balance the budget by raising taxes and lowering spending on social services. Because the Yellow Vests aren’t a strictly left/right movement, many on the far-right have been trying to hijack it in the United States.

Resist Marxism in Boston tried to co-opt a Yellow Vests event on December 22nd. People at that event waved III% Militia flags.

Haley Adams, an activist associated with Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys in the Pacific Northwest, adopted the Yellow Vest imagery in December for her own livestream protests.

The New California movement donned yellow vests to make an announcement against “globalism” and “socialism” on December 8th. In the statement, New California movement founder Paul Preston said they stood in solidarity with the French Yellow Vests. Preston claimed the French protests were caused by the United Nations Agenda 21 initiative. Conspiracy theorists think Agenda 21, a 1992 non-binding sustainable development project, is a blueprint for a malign, totalitarian global government.

For many, “globalist” can be interchanged with terms like “the 1%.” For far-right conspiracy theorists “globalists” are a cabal of specific wealthy and powerful people who want complete control of the world. Anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, particularly white nationalists, often use the term to mask their discourse about supposed Jewish control of the world and push for greater acceptance of their beliefs.

The Yellow Vest Sac protest cancelled the event as of 4:42pm, saying “Due to the nature of risk and the nature of the weather, you should show up at your own risk or not at all.”

Field Notes: Hog Wild with the PNW Youth Liberation Front

BY JORDAN JACKSON|SPECIAL TO LEFT COAST RIGHT WATCH EDITOR'S NOTE: I met Jordan on August 17th this year at Cider Riot. It was the...