What, you thought Berkeley was going to just keep allowing their campus to be used as a battlefield?
BERKELEY, CA – For the second time, conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of California, Berkeley was canceled, only this time by Coulter herself after she lost the backing of the student group that sponsored her.
According to the New York Times, the group Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which has sponsored many of Coulter’s appearances across the country over the years, said it could no longer participate in her legal efforts to force Berkeley to host her after they canceled tomorrow planned appearance at the school, citing concerns of safety after a series of clashes over the past two months, and with neo-Fascists promoting her speech as a continuation of them. “Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students,” the group said, leaving Coulter with no choice to cancel.
“I’m so sorry Berkeley canceled my speech,” Coulter wrote on her Facebook page. “I’m so sorry YAF acquiesced in the cancelation. And I’m so sorry for free speech crushed by thugs.” Ironically, among Coulter’s more notable opinions was how she wished Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh went to the New York Times building instead.
Violence became commonplace between left and right wing groups since former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos planned to appear with the school canceling his event as well. Yiannopoulos says that he is planning a weeklong event there in September which he calls a comeback after remarks of his defending pedophilia surfaced and prompted longtime supporters to distance themselves from him, and he is using Coulter’s cancellation as a catalyst and despite the concern for violence alluded to its possibility. “My proposed Free Speech Week will proceed as planned later this year, he said in a Facebook post, where he also called Coulter a friend. “I WILL BRING AN ARMY IF I HAVE TO. We will ensure that Ann and others can speak and we will publicly, ritually humiliate UC Berkeley for its failure to meet its legal obligations until conservative speakers no longer fear violent mobs just for exercising their First Amendment rights.”
As with Coulter, Yiannopoulos’ remarks also come with irony, as he once called for a ban on a Muslim student group in Glasgow University in Scotland, which not only involves him attempting to ban speech he did not like from a university, would have also been a First Amendment violation in the United States on that and religious grounds as well.
Liberals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as well as Coulter’s friend Bill Maher, who also saw protests when he came to Berkeley over his Islamophobic stances, have defended her speaking on free speech grounds.