‘The Battle for Berkeley’ Continues as University Cancels Ann Coulter Speech
Four days after blood of free speech activists and anti-free speech protesters spilled on the streets of Berkeley in a violent clash, the California University campus in the city has cancelled a speech by Ann Coulter citing security concerns, but she isn’t about to let that stop her.
“I’m giving a speech,” Coulter told the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. “Speech will go on.”
UC Berkeley was once known for the Free Speech Movement born on its campus in 1964, when students rallied together to demand that the administration lift a long held ban on-campus political activities.
As leftist anarchists continue to disrupt and shut down political speakers who do not share their ideals, Berkeley’s once great legacy has been trampled — along with the rights of students to challenge their own ideas.
“We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter,” vice chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton said in an email to the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeUSA, who were responsible for hosting the event.
The organizers of the April 27 event are not willing to give up so easily however, and have vowed to fight the university’s decision, calling it unconstitutional prior restraint.
For her part, Coulter told THR that, “yes, it was officially banned.”
“But they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have Constitutional rights.”
Coulter’s speech is supposed to focus on immigration, which is also the subject of her latest book, ‘In Trump We Trust.’
“If that’s banned, then no conservative can speak,” Coulter told THR. “Meanwhile, corrupt banana republic leaders like Vincente Fox have the red carpet rolled out for them on the taxpayer’s dime.”
As Coulter noted, Fox spoke at UC Berkeley earlier this week, without incident.
“In the wake of events surrounding the planned appearance by (right-wing speaker) Milo Yiannopoulos in February, as well as several riots which have occurred in recent weeks in the city of Berkeley, we have increased our scrutiny regarding the time and location of high-profile speakers so that these events can go forward unimpeded,” the email continued.
Over the weekend, violence and chaos erupted in the city as anarchists dressed in black bloc attire aimed to shut down a pro-free speech rally dubbed “Patriot’s Day.” The militant leftists threw bottles, M80s, and other instruments of riots into the crowd primarily consisting of Trump supporters.
The rally was in response to violent protesters who had attacked a pro-Trump rally on March 4, called the “March 4 Trump.” Multiple people were injured in the clash, including an elderly man who was pepper sprayed.
In February, militant leftists violently shut down a Milo Yiannopoulos speaking event at the university by throwing a firebomb, physically assaulting event attendees, looting a Starbucks, and vandalizing the area.
The rioters caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the MLK Student Union between $400,000 and $500,000 in damage to the area outside the university.
Fortunately, the student’s may have legal recourse to force the university to allow the event to continue.
On Friday, Auburn University in Alabama had announced that they would not let Richard Spencer, the highly controversial white nationalist behind the National Policy Institute, speak on their campus. The university, like UC Berkeley, cited safety concerns.
Hours before the event was originally set to take place however, a federal judge granted an injunction requested by Spencer, to compel the university to host his speech.
“While Mr. Spencer’s beliefs and message are controversial, Auburn presented no evidence that Mr. Spencer advocates violence,” US District Court Judge W. Keith Watkins said in his ruling. He noted that peaceful free speech is protected by the US Constitution.