by Cassy Fiano | April 20, 2017 9:29 am
University of California, Berkeley is quickly proving that free speech is not valued there. Controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos had his speech cancelled there after riots broke out and now, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter is receiving the same treatment. But while Milo agreed not to appear on campus, Coulter says that she is going to deliver her speech anyway.
Coulter had been invited to speak at Berkeley by the conservative Young America’s Foundation (YAF). However, on Wednesday YAF announced that Berkeley Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell e-mailed the student organizers to say that the lecture had to be cancelled, as his staff was unable to find a “safe and suitable venue” for her speech. Greenwell claims that security concerns meant that the speech could not take place.
However, some say that liberal college campuses frequently use the excuse of “security” to keep conservative speakers from appearing.
A YAF press release says that Coulter agreed to every security measure that Berkeley requested. However, she also made a few requests of her own — that “the University of California chancellor request that the Oakland chief of police refrain from telling his men to stand down and ignore law-breaking by rioters attempting to shut down conservative speakers, as he has done in the past” and that Berkeley announce in advance that any students caught engaging in “violence, mayhem, or heckling” to keep an invited speaker from speaking be expelled.
The YAF said that Berkeley’s response was to “ban her speech,” a sentiment Coulter herself echoed.
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I acceded to Berkeley's every silly demand (never made of lib speakers). Called their bluff & they canceled anyway. https://t.co/EQsiAEWPpW
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 19, 2017
Berkeley has already had three riots just this year alone and the year isn’t even halfway over yet, one of which, as previously noted, was due to a speech scheduled to be given by Milo Yiannopoulos. But Coulter has pledged to move forward with her speech, even after being disinvited, saying, “Yes, it was officially banned. But they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights.” Supposedly, her speech will take place in a week, on April 27th.
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