Berkeley Free Speech Week Canceled

25 September, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • The on-again off-again status of a highly anticipated far-right campus event took another confusing turn Saturday when both UC Berkeley officials and student organizers said the event was off. Yet promoter Milo Yiannopoulos insisted that he and a number

In an emergency press conference discussing the cancellation of Free Speech Week, former Breitbart Senior Editor MILO challenged the current President of the University of California System Janet Napolitano and UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ to a live debate. That plan went up in smoke Saturday when the student group withdrew its sponsorship of the four-day conservative political event. "The university was prepared to do whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization", he said.

Yiannopoulos still plans to speak outside Sproul Hall Sunday with or without their cooperation.

The self-proclaimed troll is in the Bay Area to headline Free Speech Week, organized by student group Berkeley Patriot and slated to run September 24 and September 27.

"I'm pleased because I think we need to make it hard for people to incite violence, especially racist violence", said marcher Annie Johnston, a 62-year-old Berkeley resident, about the cancelation.

A spokesman for the university said the school had prepared to spend up to $1 million on additional security for anticipated protests by students.

In their capacity as citizens with the constitutional right to express their views, Yiannopoulos and other speakers will rally at Sproul Plaza at 12 p.m. Sunday at what has been dubbed a March for Free Speech. The student group working with Yiannopoulos that sponsored the event, Berkeley Patriots, had failed to obtain demonstration permits or arrange travel accommodations for the speakers.

The four-day Free Speech Week event, which initially was supposed to commence Sunday, found itself to be the target of liberal ire and threats of protest for weeks.

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Kilju is home to the Punggyeri nuclear site, where North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test was conducted on September 3. The seismic activity was reported against a backdrop of growing tension over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile intentions.

Angela Trostle, a spokeswoman for the event, said that Mr. Murray had been included on the list of confirmed speakers due to a clerical error and that organizers had apologized to him.

Demonstrators protest the appearance of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos rally in Berkeley, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

"If you're planning on coming to Sproul Plaza tomorrow, there might be a few ANTIFA goons there", he wrote in a Facebook post, linking to a Milo Inc. guide to the Antifa.

He also warned: "I can't promise you're going to be safe".

Yiannopoulos said that he has the full support of the Berkeley Police Department to ensure security.

"The situation at UC Berkeley has become downright physically unsafe this past year for conservative students who merely wish to exercise their God given rights to freedom of speech and association that are enshrined in the Constitution", alleged Marguerite Melo, one of the attorneys representing the Berkeley Patriot, in the complaint. To have an empty gesture of 'Free Speech Week, ' when there are no speakers is impossible. Wall asked. University officials said a request for amplification, required under school rules, was never made. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter cancelled a planned speaking engagement on campus back in April that still cost UC Berkeley $600,000.

Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, a group that has attracted alt-right fans, had also promised to be in town for "Free Speech Week", as did anti-fascist demonstrators.


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