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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

From protester to prey, Tom Bibiyan shares his story

The Green Party invited their LA City Council nominee Tom Bibiyan to protest the Ku Klux Klan

Tom Bibiyan taken to hospital
Tom Bibiyan taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries. Photo credit: Cory Irwin

rally on February 27. He arrived shortly before the KKK members arrived, right before the rally and protest went violent.

Bibiyan, like many protesters, felt the Klan members likely wouldn’t show up and assumed the entire thing was a hoax.

Within minutes, Bibiyan went from protester to victim after sustaining serious injuries from a Klansman.

Once the violence broke out, Bibiyan caught a glimpse of the bloody fire hydrant and knew things had escalated. Then he saw San Francisco Klansman Charles Donner and was suspicious that he was responsible for the blood spilled. He intended to subdue Donner and stop potentially ensuing violence.

According to Bibyan, while attempting to subdue Donner, he received two critical stab wounds. One to his elbow that severed a major artery and caused him to lose feeling in two fingers, and another to the torso.

Bibiyan was one of several who received injuries that day.

The aftermath of a violent altercation catches the eye of Tom Bibiyan Photo credit: Cory Irwin

Counter protester Armando Campos also received injuries that, according to the GoFundMe page his friends set up, amounted to $80,000 in medical bills.

Counter protester and 19-year-old transient, Guy Harris was also stabbed, but not critically injured.

With over 100 people in attendance, Tom Bibiyan, Armando Campos and Guy Harris never came in contact.

Bibiyan felt with regard to the arrests that the Anaheim police “placated them” as a way to save face and put on a show.

“I think with an organization specifically like the Ku Klux Klan, they should have been labeled a domestic terror organization,” Bibiyan said.

Race relations and related issues have permeated the media in recent months, and the presence of the KKK in 2016 could be fueling this highly debated topic.

Bibiyan regarded the KKK’s presence as not a question of morals, but rather an education issue.

“I think a lot of it has to do with education,” Bibiyan said. “These guys might not be bad people, they are just dumb.”

Bibiyan also shared that hate could be displaced fear, and more specifically, a fear that things will change from the way our society runs today.

“Maybe they are a little bit fearful,” he later goes on to state that “there is not an American race.”

All of these things could be major factors in the issue of race across America.

With the KKK Rally behind him, Tom Bibiyan said he would go back to another rally, just maybe get less involved. In the meantime, be on the look out for his name on the 2016 Los Angles City Council ballot.

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