Domingo, 21 Abril, 2019

Berkeley Silences Free Speech With a Kick in the Teeth

Berkeley Silences Free Speech With a Kick in the Teeth Berkeley Silences Free Speech With a Kick in the Teeth
Tobias Pedroso | 28 Abril, 2017, 02:53

Berkeley College Republicans and the attorney who spearheaded a lawsuit against the university for violating their right to free speech blame the school for the cancellation of a talk by conservative commentator Ann Coulter. Berkeley police deployed dozens of officers on the Cal campus shortly before noon, and an armored police vehicle was also seen patrolling one street on campus and city officers patrolled a park where two far-right groups said they would hold protests.

Dhillon said the university officials told her they wouldn't provide a room but Coulter could speak at an outdoor venue.

Under the pressure, the Young America's Foundation (YAF) showed their true colors and buckled to ANTIFA leftists. The school suggested the speech be given May 2 - but school is not in session that day, so Coulter and the YAF opposed that idea.

The biggest victim of Berkeley's failure to safeguard free speech is the principle of free speech itself-and, by extension, the students and professors who are most reliant on the principle.

Ann Coulter said in an email Wednesday that her speaking event planned for this week at the University of California, Berkeley, is "canceled" but implied she might still travel to the city or campus anyway. "We are moving ahead with the lawsuit".

Rumors that antifa supporters had arrived about 30 minutes into the speeches changed the mood in the crowd, and some attendees took defensive postures near the speakers.

A protester uses a bullhorn to make her feelings known during a press conference held by the Berkeley College Republicans in Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. "Absolutely not", he said, suggesting instead that "far-left anarchist thugs" are attempting to capitalize on the controversy. "What you've got is free speech that people died for!" said Pirro.

"This is a university, not a battlefield", he said.

Coulter shared that sentiment on Twitter.

"It's a sad day for free speech", said Coulter to The New York Times.

However Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told Reuters that the university had "heard nothing" from Coulter or the sponsors. "We need to listen to each other but we're each caught in our own bubbles", he said. The club, he said, had committed to the Thursday date without confirming its plans with the school first.

The police official, Capt. Alex Yao, said the campus police would be "highly visible" and would have a "very low tolerance" for any type of violence on the campus on Thursday, based on intelligence they had previously gathered.

UC Berkeley canceled an event hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans club that was to feature the conservative firebrand. "If the police do their job today, we can just sit here and watch", he said, adding that he and his friends were not there to provoke or instigate.

Not all campus conservatives have balls.

Besides the frightening escalation of protest to physical violence, many fear that the trend of shutting down certain speakers on campus is growing, and that it could lead to some extremely illiberal spaces.

"If indeed this is the birthplace of free speech", he continued. "That legacy would be destroyed were we to start to pick and choose".

The suit names four university officials as defendants, including University of California President Janet Napolitano and Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks, and three police officials. "It's sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech". "We can not wish away or pretend that these threats do not exist".