Coulter's Berkeley speech canceled, police prep for violence

The University of California, Berkeley says it's preparing for possible violence on campus whether Ann Coulter comes to speak or not.

According to their press release, YAF said they would not "jeopardize the safety of its staff or students". The group endorses free speech, and some members oppose the way Coulter and others have co-opted the free speech movement.

The university offered to reschedule the event for May 2, but Coulter and the student group that invited her said no. And the events highlight lessons other colleges might have to learn in order to both honor their dedication to free speech and protect the safety of students and speakers.

However, Reuters and The New York Times report that Coulter said in an emailed statement that she made a decision to cancel the speech after conservative groups backed out of sponsoring the event. Their lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, was on hand to discuss the lawsuit, and said they are pursuing an injunction to prevent the university from unequally applying rules and access. "Everyone who should be for free speech has turned tail and run". "It's way beyond one speech or one speaker".

In response to earlier rioting at Berkeley, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators last month put on daylong protest preparation and response training sessions at Chapman University in Orange, California, the University of Notre Dame in IN and the University of Maryland, attended by law enforcement from about 40 colleges and universities.

The silencing of free speech by leftist thugs on college campuses has gotten out of control, says Mark Levin, and it's time somebody sends a signal.

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That's why campus police had been prepared to bring in large numbers of reinforcements in a show of force and at significant cost. A lawsuit was filed over the cancellation and Coulter vowed to speak anyway. "It's sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech".

Mogulof, the university spokesman, said the school asks for two months notice of an event so it can work out logistics and security. "Full stop", but said "not every venue is available on every day".

He said the university was deferring to the police assessment of a significant security threat, adding that "we can not allow it to be held in a venue with a limited number of exits; in a hall that can not be cordoned off; in an auditorium with floor to ceiling glass; in any space that does not meet basic safety criteria established by UCPD". He said some groups have tried to use the cover of darkness during nighttime events to take violent action without being recognized.

University officials last week rejected the original Coulter date on grounds they lacked a safe campus venue to host her speech on that day, citing the violence by left-wing protesters over Yiannopoulos' scheduled appearance.

"They invite someone to speak whose not exactly what liberals want to hear and they want to shutter it", Maher said on his show Friday. "We're going to have a very, very low tolerance for any violence", he told a news conference.

"We're anxious about it turning into a huge battle between her security and conservative militia and antifascists and others", Pranav Jandhyala, founder of a nonpartisan campus club called BridgeCal, told The Post.


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