Milo Yiannopoulos to Host Week Long ‘Free Speech’ Event in Berkeley
Milo Yiannopoulos, whose speaking engagement at the University of California Berkeley lead to a massive riot earlier this year, has vowed to go back to the campus and hold an entire week’s worth of events focused on the freedom of speech.
Yiannopoulos asserted in a press release that if the university does not “actively assist us in the planning and execution of this event, we will extend festivities to an entire month.”
“We will establish a tent city on Sproul Plaza protesting the university’s total dereliction of its duty and encourage students at other universities to follow suit,” Yiannopoulos warned.
The former Breitbart editor announced that he will be holding talks and rallies, as well as massive parties, “all in the name of free expression and the First Amendment.” The speeches will focus on feminism, Islam, Black Lives Matter, and other issues that he deems a threat to free speech.
“I will bring activists, writers, artists, politicians, YouTubers, veterans and drag queens from across the ideological spectrum to lecture, march, and party,” Yiannopoulos said in a press release.
UC Berkeley was once known for being the home of the 1964 Free Speech Movement, when students protested the university’s ban on political activities on campus — and won.
“I intend to return Berkeley to its rightful place as the home of free speech — whether university administrators and violent far-left antifa thugs like it or not,” Yiannopoulos asserted.
Yiannopoulos had been scheduled to speech at UC Berkeley in February, but it was cancelled after a group wearing ski masks and all-black attire showed up to violently prevent him from speaking.
The group launched fireworks and molotov cocktails at police, firebombed a mobile light structure causing a large fire, and assaulted multiple supporters of President Donald Trump. The city estimated that there was between $400,000 and $500,000 in damage to the area surrounding the university, and $100,000 in damage to the campus’ MLK Student Union building.
Since the riot, the city has become central in the debate over free speech on college campuses. There have been multiple events planned by Trump supporters that have lead to violent clashes — most recently last weekend.
Last Saturday, anarchists threw M80s, bottles, and bricks at Trump supporters who had gathered for a free speech rally dubbed “Patriot’s Day.” Many in attendance believed that the police were not doing enough to protect the free speech advocates.
On Wednesday, the university attempted to cancel a speech by conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter.
Originally, Coulter was scheduled to speak on April 27, which administrators had announced was cancelled citing “security concerns.”
After massive backlash, and refusal to back down by Coulter, the university caved in and agreed to allow her to speak — but on a day that classes are not in session.
A law firm representing Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation is now threatening to sue the university over their bias towards left-leaning speakers.
“In each of the three recent conservative speech censorship instances, UC Berkeley impermissibly has allowed a ‘heckler’s veto’ to suppress the free speech rights of speakers properly invited by recognized student groups, and in each case, did so after first attempting to bully the students out of pursuing their quest to hear these alternative voices by piling on requirement after unconstitutional requirement – ‘security fees,’ inconvenient hours, inconvenient locations, attendance restrictions, and more,” Harmeet Dhillon of Dhillon Law Group wrote in a letter to the university this week.
On Friday, it was also revealed that the city’s mayor is a member of the Facebook group for the militant far left organization By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) and friends with one of their leads organizers, Yvette Falarco, on the network.
Falarco, a middle school teacher, has a long history of instigating or engaging in politically motivated violence. During a rally in Sacramento in 2016, the teacher was caught on camera repeatedly punching a man whose views she disagreed with.
Political commentator and comedian Gavin McInnes noted that members of his group, ‘The Proud Boys,’ were immediately arrested when going near Falarco during the recent clash.
Far left Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who many have speculated was behind stand down orders to police during recent riots in the city, made headlines in February for his tweets prior to BAMN organizing the riot outside Yiannopoulos’ event.
BAMN was named by the FBI in 2005 as thought to be involved in domestic terrorist activities.
“Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn’t welcome in our community,” Arreguin had tweeted, hours before BAMN assisted in launching the violent attack.
The mayor also referred to Yiannopoulos as a “white supremacist,” but was later forced to issue an apology.
“I consider much of what Mr. Yiannopoulos says to be hateful. But I regret and apologize for the white national label,” Arreguin tweeted.
Given the clear stance of the mayor and UC Berkeley administration, Yiannopoulos may want to get his tent ready.