UC Berkeley Police Investigating if Free Speech Posters, Chalk Drawings Are a Hate Crime
Tensions are continuing to escalate in Berkeley, as the university chancellor announced that their police are currently investigating whether or not pro-free speech posters or chalk art constitute a “hate crime.”
In preparation for Milo Yiannopoulos’ Free Speech Week at the campus which begins on Sunday, leftist groups have been placing flyers and posters all over the city to encourage unrest during the event. In response, someone put up hundreds of posters promoting free speech all around the campus on Wednesday evening.
The posters featured bold phrases such as “Mean Words Are Still Legal Words,” “Fuck Your Commie Trash,” and “This City Is Run By Thugs in Black Masks,” in reference to Antifa’s previous successful shut downs of right wing speakers — including Yiannopoulos in February. While vulgar, the only group that appears to be mentioned specifically would be Communists, and arguably Antifa.
On Thursday, responding to the posters being wallpapered around Sproul Hall, Chancellor Carol T. Christ wrote an email to students and faculty letting them know that there is currently an investigation into whether or not the mean words are a hate crime and urging students to seek help if the signs offended them.
“I am deeply distressed to learn about some hateful messaging that has appeared on campus recently that targets specific student populations, groups of faculty and administrators. I condemn these cowardly acts in the strongest possible terms,” the chancellor began.
No such condemnation has ever been offered for the students who have falsely branded right-wing speakers and students as “Nazis” or flyers calling for violence against them.
“Our police department is investigating whether they constitute hate crimes and we will do all we can to support those affected,” Christ continued. “Please visit our Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination or UCPD if you have information about recent incidents or would like to make a complaint.
Christ continued on to provide resources for students whose feelings may have been hurt by the mean words.
The email was shared by Yiannopoulos who mocked the chancellor for even suggesting that these posters could be considered a hate crime.
“This is the same Chancellor Christ that previously declared that Berkeley is the home of free speech. But as soon as some students put up posters that offended her, she called for a police investigation into ‘hate crimes,’” Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook. “Since when did putting up offensive posters become a crime in America, Chancellor Christ? It’s the foulest hypocrisy imaginable. Berkeley has become a police state that sicks the cops on students who say things they don’t like. Chancellor Christ needs to be crucified over this. Be sure to join us on campus to protest this villain and protect free speech!”
On Tuesday, messages supporting Free Speech Week also popped up around campus. Phrases chalked onto the pavement included things like, “Bannon will speak here,” “Bannon is coming,” “BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) are terrorists,” “MAGA,” 2 genders (2) terms,” “James Damore was right,” “Trump is our savior,” “Antifa is sad!,” “Berkeley hates free speech,” “I support my president,” “Trump won. Deal with it,” “free speech is dead,” a Pepe the frog and Milo’s name with a penis drawn under it.
As we previously reported, the Berkeley Patriot, the organizers for the event have filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Justice against the university.
The complaint alleges that “the students of the Berkeley Patriot believe that they have been subjected to a pattern and practice of suppression of their First Amendment rights, specifically Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, and their Fourteenth Amendment right to Equal Protection.”
“The situation at UC Berkeley has become downright physically dangerous this past year for conservative students who merely wish to exercise their God given rights to freedom of speech and association that are enshrined in the Constitution,” the complaint states.
The Free Speech Week event, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday, has been seemingly in a state of limbo all week after the university alleged that they Yiannopoulos and the student organization had not met all the required deadlines.