Police in San Francisco have charged two people with the crimes of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and conspiracy, after an altercation involving some anti-fascists and members of BANANAs, a white supremacist groupuscule. The BANANAs — two of whom have been identified as Andrew Yeoman and Parker Wilson — were participating in an anti-immigrant rally organised by Minuteman, and were allegedly assaulted by anti-fascists after leaving it.
‘National anarchism’ is a recent development on the far right, having its origins in the 1990s (see : ‘Co-opting the Counter Culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction’ by Graham D. Macklin, May 30, 2009). Andrew Yeoman established the ‘Bay Area National Anarchists’ — most commonly referred to as BANANAs — in 2007 (see : The New Right in The Public Eye, December 18, 2008). In September 2009, Yeoman visited Australia, where among other things he addressed a fascist gathering in Sydney. The ‘Sydney Forum’ was held at a local RSL club, and then at the headquarters of the ‘Australia First’ party in Tempe. Both the party and the property are owned by Dr James Saleam, a man convicted of fraud and of organising a shotgun assault upon the home of a representative of the African National Congress in 1989. Maybe it was something in the water, but a few months later, Yeoman declared that BANANAs had dissolved.
The two most prominent local ‘national anarchists’ are the German-born, Sydney-based 40-something businessman Welf Herfurth and the teenager Scott Harrison, a Geelong resident (and Deakin University student). Both Harrison and Herfurth are supporters of local neo-Nazi groups such as Blood & Honour, although Herfurth split from this group to help form rival bonehead gang Volksfront Australia in 2008 (see : Who’s who in the “national anarchist” zoo?, National Anarchist!; Local Anti-Racist Shot in Downtown Portland, April 2, 2010).
See also : The Ideological Evolution of Horst Mahler: The Far Left-Extreme Right Synthesis (October 18, 2009).
Felony Charges For Two Alleged Attackers of White Separatists
May 3, 2010
Police have booked two people who allegedly attacked [BANANAs] at Saturday’s San Francisco immigration march. The pair have been hit with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and conspiracy. The alleged attackers also were booked into jail on misdemeanor charges of interfering with free speech. The district attorney’s office has not yet made a charging decision in the case.
Donnell Allen, a 42-year-old black San Francisco resident, and Kelsey Musgrove, a 19-year-old white female from Pittsburgh, Penn., were arrested on Saturday after an alleged attack on four [BANANAs] while the [BANANAs] were leaving a counter-protest of the immigration reform rally in Civic Center Plaza. Police say the suspects were wearing all-black clothing.
This isn’t Allen’s first brush with the law. News reports indicate he was also arrested back in December during an attack on UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s campus residence.
John Hamasaki, the attorney for Musgrove, says she was in San Francisco checking out massage therapy schools. “She’s never been arrested, never been in trouble, she’s not one of these people that society needs to be worried about.”
A third suspect, anarchist theorist Andre Grubacic, a 34-year-old white San Francisco resident, was detained but released at the scene after the victims said he wasn’t part of attack. (The more common spelling of Grubacic’s first name is Andrej.) A fourth suspect, an unknown white male, pedaled away on a bicycle before the cops could catch him.
Plainclothes and uniformed police officers saw the group of [alleged] attackers follow the [BANANAs], who had broken off from the counter-demonstration around 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The group turned a corner around Polk and Van Ness, putting them out of the officers’ line of sight at the beginning of the physical attack. When police caught up with the brawl, they saw that the victims “tried to defend themselves,” said SFPD spokesperson Lyn Tomioka.
Cops recovered what they believe to be a mace can at the scene. The robbery charge stemmed from an attempt to take a backpack from one of the victims. The victim group — who was unidentified on the police report, but were identified to SF Weekly as BANANA members by founder Andrew Yeoman — were treated by paramedics at the scene but refused further medical assistance. One victim had bruising and redness to the left side of the face; one had head, neck and back injuries; one had a cut on the right side of the face and a red eye; and the fourth had no apparent injury. None of the injuries were life-threatening, but all BANANAs complained of extreme butthurt.
Yeoman, who has been penning credos about his anti-immigration views on extreme right websites, claims the attackers were [antifa], or [anti-fascists]. Meanwhile someone calling themselves “antifa” has posted an article on the attack on indybay entitled “Stop the Bay Area National Anarchists!”: “There is no place in the Bay area (or anywhere) for this fascist scum, no matter how they try to package themselves.”
UPDATE At 4:30 p.m., 5/3: John Hamasaki, a private defense attorney who is representing Kelsey Musgrove pro bono, disputes Yeoman’s earlier account of the fight. After talking to witnesses of the fight, Hamasaki says “It was the BANANA people who had a baton, and one of them had brass knuckles and tried to blame it on the other kids.” He says Musgrove “was struck first, she didn’t instigate any fights. I’ve heard that from more than one person.” He says [...] one witness says a BANANA member had yelled before the scuffle: “This is my city and I’m taking it back for the white people.”
Hamasaki says his client is still in jail awaiting arraignment, but expects the felony charges to be lowered to misdemeanors.
To clarify, police spokeswoman Lyn Tomioka said the police didn’t recover any brass knuckles at the scene.