On Friday, April 28th, in Modesto, CA, about 30-40 Ann Coulter protesters faced off with about 30-40 Trump/Coulter supporters. Besides crowds jeering as various local politicians, the Modesto Chief of Police, and local wealthy and Republican elite who slinked into the event and some heated shouting matches, not much happened at the demonstration. A team of volunteer security was on hand, about 5-8 men, all wearing red trump ‘MAGA’ hats, who took people’s tickets and were there to eject any protesters. Ironically, they also ended up ejecting several Trump supporters who didn’t have tickets and couldn’t pay the high price of admission.
In the weeks leading up to the protest, Modesto police called a meeting at a local community center, where they revealed that far-Right Ann Coulter supporters had threatened to, “Shoot protesters in the head.” Police claimed that they would have several officers “on bicycles” to monitor the situation. On the Facebook page, numerous followers of ‘Based Stickman’ also threatened violence against anyone that stood up to Trump, Coulter, and the white supremacy they both embody.
On the day of the protest however, Modesto police were much more interested in monitoring the anti-Ann Coulter side than those of the Trump supporters, who largely were made up of people from outside of Modesto and the Central Valley. It should be noted however, that several Sacramento based Trump supporters who have organized rallies in the past were present, as well as the group, Central Valley Patriots, who are largely linked to the ‘State of Jefferson Movement.’
Several Alt-Right trolls also attended that were also photographed at the various Berkeley clashes, including one red hat with a ‘Pepe the Frog‘ sign that read, ‘Green Lives Matter.’ Despite this, the police continued to approach Coulter protesters and ask if they were from Berkeley and then would attempt to get their name. Far from having only a few officers just on bikes, Modesto police had whole teams of officers stationed on roof tops, and in front of the building where Coulter’s talk was taking place. As was expected, the police weren’t worried about far-Right violence; they were worried about anti-Coulter protesters ‘getting out of hand.’ The stupidity and obsession they showed with ‘Berkeley’ is both laughable and ironic, and again shows they were worried about ‘out of town’ antifascist protesters, but not Trump supporters who actually threatened violence.
Towards the end of the demonstration, after about 20 people gleefully mockingly chanted “Taco Trucks on Every Corner,” “We are the 34%!,” and pointed at police standing on roofs doing surveillance while screaming, “It’s the globalists!,” a crew of 4 neo-Nazi skinheads walked up and joined the pro-Trump/Ann Coulter side.
Leading this group was Derik Punneo, a member of the Golden State Skinheads and the Traditionalist Worker Party. Punneo was photographed in Sacramento on June 26th, 2016, stabbing numerous antiracist and antifascist demonstrators with a knife. He was swastikas and white supremacist tattoos all over his body, including the back of his head. To date, Punneo has not been arrested for almost killing several demonstrators, however, he was since gone to prison for violating his parole after beating up his former girlfriend.
Despite proclaiming to defend, “Faith, Folk, and Family,” Punneo’s rap sheet goes back a long way, including attempted rape and violent assault. Punneo is a piece of shit, a threat to any community his a part of, and a violent sociopath.
He also was welcomed with opens arms by the police, Trump supporters, and Ann Coulter security.
Info-graphic released in 2016.
When Punneo arrived on the pro-Trump side, one of his neo-Nazi skinhead friends quickly unfurled a confederate flag, while his other comrades openly sported white supremacist shirts, tattoos, and patches. All of this didn’t phase the pro-Trump/Coulter side, and even when they were pointed out, no one seemed to care.
Info graphic released after the Sacramento rally in 2016 where Punneo stabbed several anti-Nazi demonstrators.
At another point (as seen in the top picture), red hat Coulter security even came by and got the groups email. Modesto police also were cordial with the neo-Nazis, talking with them throughout the event.
Such open acceptance of neo-Nazis openly organizing with Trump and Ann Coulter supporters is disgusting, but shows the degrees in which these formations must sink to gain supporters and people willing to work with them. It also shows the open connections between those in power at city hall and on the board of supervisors, far-Right talking heads like Coulter, the police who protect them, and the insurgent far-Right who is willing to use violence to back all of them up.
While Trump labels migrant workers “rapists” and violent criminal, Trump supporters embrace neo-Nazis who have actually carried out those crimes. It’s up for the rest of us as a community to stand against this scum and protect each other.