Pro-Palestinian Activist Hit with 16 Felonies After Going Too Far During City Council Meeting Speech

Pro-Palestinian Activist Hit with 16 Felonies After Going Too Far During City Council Meeting Speech

A pro-Palestinian protester was arrested Wednesday and charged with 16 felony counts after threatening to murder members of the Bakersfield, California city council.

Riddhi Patel, 28, began her remarks by calling on the city to pass a ceasefire resolution regarding the Israel-Hamas war drafted by the United Liberation Front.

“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,” she said.

“You guys don’t care about anything happening in Palestine or any other country where oppression occurs, because you don’t care about the oppression occurring here,” Patel continued.

She then noted that some people celebrate the Hindu festival Chaitra Navratri, which starts 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 a guillotine and kills all of you motherf******.”

Patel later lashed out at the city council for putting increased security measures in place, including metal detectors and a greater police presence.

“You guys want to criminalize us with metal detectors, we’ll see you at your house, we’ll murder you,” she said, and then left the podium.

Bakersfield City Attorney Ginny Gennaro interjected, saying to police officers standing nearby “That was a threat.”

City Mayor Karen Goh agreed.

“Ms. Patel, that was a threat, what you said at the end,” Goh said. “And so, the officers are going to escort you out and take care of that.”

Bakersfield Police Sgt. Eric Celedon said that Patel faces 16 felony counts, according to Bakersfield.com.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office blotter shows she has been charged with eight counts of threatening the seven City Council members and the mayor, and eight counts of threatening to terrorize.

Patel is being held in jail on $2 million bail.

In an Instagram post, the group United Liberation Front said it “unequivocally condemns any statements that threaten public officials,” adding that Patel’s comments ran “counter to our values.”

“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,” the group said.

ULF restated its call for a ceasefire resolution to be passed by the Bakersfield City Council.

Bakersfield.com said that this was the eighth week that pro-Palestinian protesters had attended the city council meeting.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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