NDN Collective Femme-Led Protest Disrupts William Barr’s Keynote at Far-Right Catholic Church Conference in Napa

Kailea Frederick, Angelica (Angie) Solloa · August 2, 2022

NDN Collective Femme-Led Protest Disrupts William Barr’s Keynote at Far-Right Catholic Church Conference in Napa

Leading up to the Napa Institute’s annual convening, NDN Collective, alongside the greater Bay Area community, rallied to disrupt William “Bill” Barr’s keynote. Though met with violence from conference attendees, protesters sent a clear message; Fascism is not welcome.

On Saturday evening NDN Collective led an Action in Napa, California as part of calling attention to the dangerous rhetoric of The Napa Institute – an organization co-founded by Timothy Busch, owner of the Meritage Resort and Spa where the Napa Institute annual conference is held.

The Napa Institute claims its summer conference is designed for the Catholic community to “learn about the sanctity of work, building a Catholic culture, and reason and faith” and attempts to distance itself from politics, though it has an overtly political agenda often with high profile Republican politicians and political strategists in attendance. In fact, attendees paid $2,700 to hear former U.S. Attorney General William Barr give a keynote address, and individuals like Leonard Leo, who advised former President Donald Trump on Supreme Court nominations, is a donor to the Institute.

Protesters gather in front of the Meritage Resort & Spa on Saturday, July 30, 2022, calling out The Napa Institute upholding of fascism and colonial control. Powered by NDN.

Aside from far-right individuals in politics, The Napa Institute platforms organizations who have been deemed hate groups and utilize this conference as a key organizing and strategy-building moment for those who are anti-Black, anti-LBGTQIA2+, pro-life, opponents of critical race theory, and are actively fighting to protect the heterosexual nuclear family ideology.

Members of NDN Collective and other local residents from across the Bay Area disrupted William Barr’s keynote address to call attention to this event, which had previously flown under the radar. “Often, it can seem like big decisions happen in faraway places – when in fact the organizing that sets these violent and life-altering decisions in motion could be happening in our own backyards,” said NDN Collective Climate Justice Organizer, Kailea Frederick.

Video coverage of protestors declaring the human rights violations that The Napa Institute continue to inflict through colonial control and violence. Video from The Press Democrat’s Youtube channel.

Countless Indigenous communities have felt the serious ramifications of the Catholic church and the religious warfare they have deployed globally over the last 500 years. With the Pope offering an apology just last week to First Nations peoples in so-called Canada for the kidnapping and genocide of thousands of their children, NDN Collective’s team knows all too well how dangerous religious radicalization can be, especially when human rights are a focal point.

As reported by the National Catholic Reporter, fifteen families have pledged donations to the Napa Institute totaling $500,000 over the next five years to support program expansion. As part of this expansion, a lecture series in 2021 was held at the University of Notre Dame. One of the initial speakers included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who recently stepped down from teaching at George Washington University amid nationwide backlash over his concurrence in the case overturning Roe v. Wade, as well as his wife Ginni Thomas’s involvement in the January 6th insurrection.

Protesters stand with signs outside of the Meritage Resort and Spa, where a Napa Institute conference attendee can be seen reaching into the bed of the vehicle in an attempt to disrupt the action. Powered by NDN.

The peaceful disruption on Saturday evening consisted of a caravan of vehicles parked on a public street outside of the venue space where William Barr was speaking. A banner was draped over the side of a truck that read, “Fascists Not Welcome Here! This Church = Colonial Control”, while protesters utilized a PA system to issue an eviction notice to conference attendees. Local news coverage of the conference highlighted several voices from the region who made it clear that the viewpoints bolstered by The Napa Institute are not representative of Napa residents or other Bay Area communities. Coverage from conference attendees that evening showed that the all-women-led protesters were successful in disrupting the event. In an attempt to drown out the eviction notice from the PA system, attendees broke into prayer, which they believed was the reason why the group of protesters eventually left. 

Live coverage of conference attendees, including Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue, violently prompting protestors to leave. Terry is seen in this video pulling open the truck door where peaceful protestors were sitting. Tweet by Phil Barber @Skinny_Post.

Alternative footage would indicate that the protesters were accosted by conference attendees, met with chants of “baby killers” and “maskers”, and dealt with an increasing escalation of violence from a group of men who encircled them. One man yelled repeatedly in the women’s faces, while others attempted to snatch their signs, grab their bodies, and even go as far as opening the passenger side of their truck door, despite being on public property. At one point, another man leaned into the bed of their vehicle and aggressively snatched out the auxiliary cord connected to the PA system, cutting one of the women’s hands that was holding it. In fear that their safety was at risk and to avoid further violence, the group of protesters made the decision to leave.

Live coverage of violent exchange between The Napa Institute conference attendees and protestors shared via tweet by Phil Barber @Skinny_Post.

“In the end, our group was able to maintain safety for all individuals, which is our main priority when participating in nonviolent direct action. That being said, all of our human rights are currently under direct attack from individuals who support organizations like The Napa Institute. Below, we have compiled a list of articles that detail key supporters and donors to the Napa Institute that we recommend becoming familiar with. We consider Saturday evening a first step in continuing to track the threads that are tied to the organizing coming through the Napa Institute,” said NDN Collective Climate Justice Organizer, Kailea Frederick.

Related Stories:

The Press Democrat | ‘This isn’t doormat Christianity’: In Napa, a high-powered conservative Catholic conference flies under the radar

The Press Democrat | Conservative Catholic gathering draws protesters in Napa

National Catholic Reporter | Napa Institute expands to fight the culture war

Napa Valley Register | Conservatives come to Napa: Barr, Hobby Lobby president speaking at Napa Catholic Conference

Napa Valley Register | Napans take to downtown to protest conservative Napa Institute conference

Kailea Frederick
by   Kailea Frederick

Kailea Frederick (she/her), Community Publisher, is a mother of Tahltan, Kaska and Black American lineage. She has dedicated the last ten years to working at the intersections of climate justice, resilience thinking and independent publishing, previously serving as NDN Collective’s Climate Justice Organizer, Editor for Loam Magazine and as a Climate Commissioner for the City of Petaluma. Her diverse publications on climate change, disaster preparedness and parenting during collapse have been utilized as curriculum across schools in the United States and Canada, and her 2021 publication with NDN Collective, Required Reading: Climate Justice, Adaptation and Investing in Indigenous Power was recommended reading by the White House.

Angelica (Angie) Solloa
by   Angelica (Angie) Solloa

Angelica (Angie) Solloa (She/Her), Digital Organizer is Maya and Hopi. She has 7 years of experience working with national and regional non-profit organizations with a primary focus on racial equity, education equity, youth homelessness, economic equity, and poverty alleviation. Angie has utilized her creative skills to mobilize support for hunger awareness campaigns with Ayesha Curry/No Kid Hungry, an $8M housing project with Life Learning Academy, and flipped states during critical elections.

 

Angie received recognition as an emerging leader within the Bay Area via the Kaiser Permanente, Coro, and Warrior Foundation Generation Thrive Fellowship. She holds a Bachelors Communications & Marketing degree from San Francisco State University.

March 2023 Edition

Stay Informed. Take Action.

Subscribe to the NDN allies newsletter

Sign up to get our newsletter. Delivered once per month.

We care about the protection of your data and would never sell your email or share it with anyone without your permission.

NDN Collective Responds to Forest Services Commitment to Study Mining Impacts in the Black Hills Posted 11 months ago
“This is a victory for Tribal Sovereignty. The fight to protect ALL of the water of the sacred Black Hills continues and we remain vigilant and committed to this duty. We stand in solidarity with communities that have been defending Ȟešapa for generations, when our treaties are honored it protects the water for everyone.”
NDN Collective Slams Biden Greenlighting Willow Oil Project Posted 12 months ago
“The Biden administration’s decision to greenlight the Willow project is a climate disaster in the making. Today’s decision completely contradicts not only the administration’s climate goals, but also its commitment to consider Traditional Ecological Knowledge in federal policy making."
Willow Project Threatens Traditional Caribou Hunting: Naqsragmiut Tribal President Writes Letter to the DOI Requesting Consultation Posted 12 months ago
"Residents of our community described concerns about potential impacts to our primary diet, Caribou, to global warming, and to our way of life. BLM has not come back to our community this time and we feel our people and their concerns have been overlooked."
Consultation Process Inadequate: New Letter from Nuiqsut Community Leaders to Department of Interior Posted 12 months ago
It seems that despite its nod to traditional ecological knowledge, BLM does not consider relevant the extensive knowledge and expertise we have gained over millennia, living in a way that is so deeply connected to our environment.
Paying Respects to the American Indian Movement, 50 Years since the Occupation of Wounded Knee

Brandy Calabaza

Posted 12 months ago
NDN Collective joins hundreds at the American Indian Movement 4 Directions March commemorating the 1973 Occupation of Wounded Knee, and members of the team share reflections on the power and purpose of the day.
NDN Collective Joins Tribes, Organizers, and Activists Across Turtle Island in Mobilization to #StopCopCity

Sherrie Anne Hart , Angelica (Angie) Solloa

Posted 1 year ago
"Building Cop City on stolen Indigenous Lands, to inflict violence in a Black neighborhood, on a piece of land that is essential for air quality and much needed biodiversity to combat climate change is racist, unjust and the opposite direction that we need to be heading in."
NDN Collective Announces the 2023 Radical Imagination Grant Open Application Period Posted 1 year ago
Ten Indigenous artists, artist collectives or small nonprofits of all artistic traditions, mediums and genres will be awarded $100,000 grants over two years.
Police Assault Indigenous Youth with Disabilities at Central High School Posted 1 year ago
"We must prioritize resources and solutions that promote restorative justice, mental health services, and other interventions that address the root causes of conflict, rather than relying on punitive measures that perpetuate the cycle of violence and harm."
“Medicine in a world of violence”: Shining Light on Community-led Efforts to fight the MMIR Epidemic

Janene Yazzie

Posted 1 year ago
Challenging the commercialization of February 14, NDN Collective’s Southwest Regional Director Janene Yazzie calls attention to the MMIR (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives) Day of Awareness, National Day of Action, and grassroots efforts to fight the MMIR epidemic. Yazzie also shares future MMIR programming from NDN Collective coming soon.
10 Books by Black and & Afro-Indigenous Authors on Black History, Liberation and Futurism Posted 1 year ago
A list curated by Afro-Indigenous Staff at NDN Collective in honor of Black History Month.

United like never before, we rise together—arm in arm—to equip all Indigenous Peoples with the tools needed to become architects of our future. Through a holistic approach to infrastructure, funding, advocacy, movement building, and philanthropy we are fostering a world of justice and equity for all people and the planet.