Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Ann Coulter Vows to Speak at UC Berkeley Despite Cancellation

Ann Coulter Vows to Speak at UC Berkeley Despite Cancellation

When the Fox News host pressed her on what exactly it meant for the institution to not allow her to speak with it being a supporter of the First Amendment, the conservative provocateur shot back that "we'll find out if they arrest me".

Coulter, while speaking to Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, alleged the university is not acting more aggressively to quell unrest because she is a conservative.

During a news conference earlier Thursday, UC Berkeley police Capt. Alex Yao said "very specific and credible threats of violence" had been received in connection with the announced Coulter event, and that officials canceled the speech for that reason.

The school was at the epicenter of heated riots in February when conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak on campus. Expulsion is too harsh a punishment, but schools should send some other kind of message that this kind of behavior is not acceptable such as having security or police forcibly remove them from debate venues unless disagreeing students express themselves like civilized adults and engage in a debate, rather than a heckler's veto.

Protests at UC Berkeley when conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos spoke in February.

Reports have circulated on social media that various groups would use Coulter's appearance at Berkeley for another round of violent protests.

The cancellation marked the latest skirmish in a free-speech fight involving conservative voices on college campuses across the country, including at Berkeley.

Free speech is what universities are all about. She said that she agreed with the conditions but that apparently wasn't good enough.

On Twitter, Coulter insisted she would be giving her speech come hell-or-high-water.

"No school accepting public funds can ban free speech", she tweeted.

Berkeley officials are no doubt congratulating themselves that they have dodged another bullet and that the smokescreen created by their histrionic concerns for "public safety" will hide their unwillingness to defend free speech and prevent their campus from being cleansed of conservative ideas.

The Californians, a student group that helped organize campus events, invited Maher in August of that year but rescinded the invitation days after a Change.org petition calling Maher a bigot for on-air remarks about Muslims collected more than 1,500 signatures.

"We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue", officials wrote in a letter to the campus Republicans on Wednesday.

Dan Mogulof, a university spokesman, told The Huffington Post that police learned that groups responsible for the recent violent demonstrations on campus and in the city of Berkeley planned to target Coulter's event, initially scheduled for April 27.

"It has nothing to do with anyone's political views". These Antifa clowns are going to be their [sic] to take cheap shot at us. It drew national attention and led to a campus lockdown. "We need to realize that Berkeley students are not the ones causing the violence", said Berkeley freshman Ola Eju.

In another violent outburst, anti- and pro-Trump protestors clashed in Berkeley on Saturday.

In their letter, university officials also partly blamed the college Republican group for inviting Coulter and setting a date for the event _ April 27 - without consulting the university. As the protest and clashes escalated during the Yiannopoulos's event, some began setting fires, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails and attacking members of the crowd, said WaPo.

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