Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Student Organizers Cancel 'Free Speech Week' Events

Student Organizers Cancel 'Free Speech Week' Events

Far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos's "Free Speech Week" event series in Berkeley, Calif. might be cancelled, as speakers drop out and logistical issues mount.

Confusion continuesto surround Free Speech Week at UC Berkeley two days before events are scheduled to kick off. As Cal gears up to play their big Saturday afternoon football game against US C, an attorney for student organizers of "Free Speech Week" says they will be announcing a final list of speakers at a treasure island press conference tomorrow. Coulter was also previously scheduled to appear at Berkeley in April, but her speech was abruptly canceled and protests followed.

While some media are reporting that the Berkeley Patriot, the student organization hosting the four-day conservative political event. has called it off, Milo Yiannopoulos, one of the event headliners, posted on Facebook that it's going on.

An open letter argues that many students, faculty and staff will feel unsafe at school because of the anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay rhetoric of numerous speakers. Pamela Geller, founder of Stop Islamization of America and InfoWars radio show host Mike Cernovich, who are on the list to attend Free Speech Week, will also be at the press conference, according to Yiannopoulos's press release. Clashes on Sproul Plaza, the heart of UC Berkeley's campus and the birthplace of the country's free speech movement during the 1960s, scared liberals and conservatives alike.

Students and faculty at UC Berkeley say they're getting exhausted of the campus being a political flashpoint.

A new Brookings Institution survey of college students provides data to support anecdotal evidence that free expression is under threat on USA campuses.

The free speech debate has grown more contentious in light of the growing number of nationwide protests since President Trump took office.

"It's become a center of far-right speech because the far-right has taken the tactic - and Milo Yiannopoulos being the prime example - of essentially trolling people who wouldn't want to hear it - and that's what this is", Sepulvado says.

On Friday, Yiannopoulos posted on his Instagram, announcing his intent to march through Sproul Plaza on September 24, along with members of the Berkeley Patriot and other Free Speech Week speakers. But Cal says their commitment to the first amendment is unwavering and that the proof is that they're spending $1 million on Security to make sure free-speech happens.

Like this: