Ann Coulter is not letting Berkeley off easy for calling off speech
- Author: Joanne Flowers Apr 23, 2017,
Apr 23, 2017, 7:15
The university says it has specific intelligence of threats that could pose a danger to Coulter and expected protesters, but could offer her a safe alternative venue next month.
University officials originally announced the cancellation in a letter sent to the Berkeley College Republicans, who invited Coulter to speak.
Citing security concerns, the university announced this week that they were disinviting scheduled speaker Ann Coulter.
"I've acceded to all their silly demands, which they thought would end it", she told The Hollywood Reporter. The pro- Trump and Anti- trump protesters clashed off in campus.
In February, masked agitators shut down a speaking event by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor of the conservative Breitbart News site.
The administrators said it was "not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully - or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience and bystanders could be adequately protected".
"If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?"
Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said the school will find an "appropriate, protectable venue" for Coulter to speak on May 2.
"She's definitely coming to Berkeley on the 27th", Pranav Jandhyala, one of the event's organizers, told NPR.
Coulter in a Fox News interview later on Wednesday said she would still speak.
Yesterday, as we reported here, the university reversed its decision to cancel and/or postpone to the fall a planned speaking engagement by Coulter on April 27, offering instead to host the event during the afternoon on Tuesday, May 2. When I said, 'yes, yes, yes, ' they canceled anyway.
According to University spokesman Dan Mogulof, campus police determined that the same groups that caused last week's violence and during the Yiannopoulos event, had "planned to target the appearance of Ann Coulter on campus".
The Berkeley College Republicans invited Coulter to speak on the subject of illegal immigration.
The announcement came less than a week after fighting broke out between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump during a "Patriots Day" free speech rally at a park in the city of Berkeley. While Berkeley College Republicans and Young America's Foundation support legal action, a third group that initially invited Coulter, Bridge USA, does not.
Student Mario Savio addressed university officials, calling on them to return the school to its "intended function", and allow students to explore all ideas, whether radical or mainstream, without fear of social or academic repercussion.
More than 20 demonstrators were arrested.
Berkeley officials blame recent violence there not on students but on an outside group of anarchists called the Black Bloc, who show up on campus bent on destruction.