SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A California State University, Stanislaus student is back in the public eye after a video from a weekend of protests shows him punching a woman in the face.
Nathan Damigo was involved in some controversy last fall after launching a campaign to recruit members for his pro-white advocacy group called Identity Europa.
The woman in the video, Louise Rosealma, spoke out for the first time since the punch on Saturday.
“It’s just really petty and pathetic that this is all they have to grab a that they knocked over a 90-pound person,” she said.
Rosealma identifies herself as anti-fascist and says she came to voice her opposition against racism and hate rhetoric, but she didn’t expect to become a target of violence.
“I didn’t expect it to be a neo-Nazi leader of one of the biggest organizations featured, but I was expecting there to be violence,” she said.
Criminal defense attorney Tai Bogan watched the video of the punch, saying both sides were violent during the protest and it would be hard to figure out who was the victim.
“Are charged warranted? Possibly,” he said. “He clearly punched someone’s face, but question is, is it justified?”
Damigo is a white nationalist who found himself in hot water in October when he launched a campaign to recruit members to his white-only group Identity Europe. He described it as “a message of empowerment to people of European heritage.”
Despite Damigo’s background, Bogan says the assault doesn’t appear to be a hate crime.
Rosealma says Damigo’s attack was meant to send a message of victory against non-right-wing groups in predominantly liberal Berkeley, and that she never intended on using violence to get her message across.
“Our goal of going up there was to be physical bodies in the space, to just show that there was opposition to neo-Nazi rhetoric because they were there to intimidate,” she said.