Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Reactions to the Cancellation of Ann Coulter's Berkeley Speech

Reactions to the Cancellation of Ann Coulter's Berkeley Speech

Following the cancellation of the Ann Coulter speech at University of California, Berkeley, far-right supporters plan to hold a rally Thursday to denounce what they claim is the attempted silencing of their conservative views, stoking fears of another violent encounter with far-left groups.

"This is a university, not a battlefield".

A spokesman for the university said an "enormous amount of time and resources" was spent trying to find a suitable place for Coulter to speak.

Late Tuesday, one of the sponsors of the talk, Young America's Foundation, appeared to back off from helping to host the event, saying the university had not met its demands to ensure the safety of students and those involved in the talk.

Berkeley later proposed that Coulter's speech be postponed to May 2.

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Texas A&M University has begun requiring that speakers be sponsored by a student, faculty or staff organization after a former student arranged a speech by Spencer in December.

They then rescheduled for next week, but she said she would go on the original date anyway. "It's way beyond one speech or one speaker". “Berkeley College Republicans do not want to endanger peoples lives so because of the universitys unwillingness to do their job we are forced to cancel the event, ” Troy Worden, president of the campus Republicans, said Wednesday.

Efforts by the university to cancel or delay the event dealt a blow to Berkeley's image as a bastion of tolerance and free speech.

Last week, Berkeley officials said there was no safe venue at the campus on that date. Officials say they are not releasing exact numbers on how many officers will be dedicated to Coulter's speaking event at the Stanislaus County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday, but said officers from Stockton and Stanislaus County could be called at a moment's notice.

"I'm very sad about Berkeley's cancellation, but my sadness is greater than that", Coutler said in a tweet on Wednesday.

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Bay Area Alt Right member John Ramondetta will be among those turning up to hear McInnes and make his position known, telling KTVU that "we won't be shut down, because freedom of speech can't be shut down". He said, "The school is doing everything they can as an administration". The university said more than $100,000 in damage was done. He said some groups have tried to use the cover of darkness during nighttime events to take violent action without being recognized.

"We're anxious about it turning into a huge battle between her security and conservative militia and antifascists and others", Pranav Jandhyala, founder of a nonpartisan campus club called BridgeCal, told The Post.

But the school has acknowledged that it has become a prime spot in recent months for political groups of all stripes to demonstrate, sometimes violently.

“Its a shame that someone cant speak in the home of the free speech movement, ” said Wilson Grafstrom, an 18-year-old high school student from Menlo Park.

Although the school is committed to defending free speech, Dirks said, they also need to protect students. "What it can not do is pick and choose on purely political grounds". "On college campuses, that means that the best way to combat hateful speech is through counter-speech, vigorous and creative protest, and debate, not threats of violence or censorship". Now, Coulter's scheduling controversy with UC Berkeley is causing issues.

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