Anti-Israel activist threatens Bakersfield city council


A Californian pro-Palestinian activist threatened that she and others demanding an Israel-Hamas War ceasefire resolution would murder the Bakersfield City Council over a motion to increase physical security at government buildings, according to the municipality’s recordings of the Wednesday meeting.

In response to the city council security resolution, which came after pro-Palestinian activists protested several meetings of the body for not introducing a ceasefire resolution, Activist Riddhi Patel said that “the increased criminalization for no need other than you don’t like when people come and hold you guys accountable for introducing ceasefire resolutions – because the only escalation in violence has been by you all.”

Patel continued to level several grievances against the council members for not holding to past motivations and organizations, saying elected officials will “backstab you, they’ll let you die, and for that reason – you guys want to criminalize us with metal detectors – we’ll see you at your house. We’ll murder you.”

As the activist turned to leave, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh had a police officer arrest Patel.

“Miss Patel, that was a threat, what you said at the end, so the officers will escort you out and take care of that,” said Goh.

Pro-Palestinian activists rally against ZAKA speaking event outside synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey. (credit: Courtesy of Bergen Country Jewish Action Committee)

Patel had made violent statements earlier in the meeting as well when speaking on non-agenda items and calling for the adoption of a United Liberation Front draft ceasefire resolution.

Controversial statements at the council meeting 

“I don’t have faith that you’ll do this, you guys are all horrible human beings and Jesus probably would have killed you himself,” said Patel. “You guys don’t care about anything in Palestine or any other country where oppression occurs because you don’t care about the oppression occurring here”

Patel referred to economic issues and eviction relief programs brought up by other speakers, and said that they were “horrible people” who preferred to give city funding to the police department, who she called murderers.

“While you guys parade [Indian civil and national rights activist] Mahatma Ghandi around as a Hindu holiday called Chaitra Navratri starts off this week, I remind you that these holidays that we practice, that other people in the global south practice, believe in violent revolution against their oppressors and I hope one day somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf***ers,” said Patel.

While Patel was far from the only pro-Palestinian activist at the meeting, most of which were aggressive and hurled verbal abuse at the city council as they interwove the anti-Israel cause into other projects.

An activist named Ashley Vegas said that the activists had attended the past six city meetings to push for a ceasefire resolution, and a person named Martin wearing a medical mask said that they and other Bakersfield residents had called for the resolution for 84 days.

Vegas said that she was disturb that the council was quick to put security screening that she claimed to ostracize certain segments of the population and prevent them participating in city proceedings, but so slow to respond to a ceasefire resolution.

Martin said that the council members were “disgusting cowards,” for failing to “address the 186 day terrorist bombing campaign that the Israeli occupation forces have been escalating in Gaza with the full funding of billions in US taxpayers dollars.”

The activist also called ward two councilman Andrae Gonzales a “stupid evil snake” for allegedly saying that the municipality didn’t have time for foreign policy matters.

Protester Maria Kunis sarcastically thanked the council “for showing us was a deeply distorted white supremacist Islamophobic version of Christianity looks like, a leadership that uphold the evils of empire and self-promotion masked by Christianity.”

“In Gaza Jesus is being martyred again and again and again, 40,000 times,” claimed Kunis.

California State University Bakersfield biology student Alexandra Brown in contrast took a respectful tone with the council, urging programs for conservation of the Kern River and calling on the politicians to emulate a newly passed CSUB Associated Students resolution calling for a ceasefire and condemning human rights violations and war crimes.

Fellow biology student Jose Juan Garcia also advocated for the river conservations and a ceasefire in Gaza.

“We cannot have environmental justice without justice in all regards and this includes human right,” said Garcia. “I absolutely detest these inhumane acts of violence with that my support extends to my Palestinian brothers and sisters who have been deeply impacted by the ongoing genocide. There needs to be an act of resolution that calls for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza that simultaneously condemns the human rights violations that have transpired.”

The ULF, which celebrated Eid with an Instagram image of Hamas parasailers landing in Jerusalem, on Thursday distanced itself in from the statements made by Patel.

“United Liberation Front unequivocally condemns any statements that threaten public officials,” said the Californian organization. “The comments in question made tonight by a speaker run counter to our values and do not represent United Liberation Front. It does not represent those of us in the community who continue to show up and exercise our civic duty by engaging directly with our elected representatives.”


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