Berkeley will remain a safe space for University of California students triggered by the presence of Ann Coulter on campus. Maybe.
The university told its College Republicans chapter this week that it is “unable to find a safe and suitable” venue for Miss Coulter’s planned April 27 speech and accordingly canceled the event, a verdict the right-wing diva promptly vowed to ignore.
The note from Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy said the cancellation was made in accord with the campus police. The university, once the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, has also made official notice of threats against the Coulter speech.
“Given current active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully,” the letter said.
Miss Coulter took to Twitter to denounce the public university with her usual verve and said she would speak in Berkeley next week no matter what.
“I acceded to Berkeley’s every silly demand (never made of lib speakers). Called their bluff & they canceled anyway,” she posted, adding that “no school accepting public funds can ban free speech.”
“If I were going to Berkeley to get an abortion, this would be a national scandal,” she tweeted.
Miss Coulter said she was “instructing Berkeley student group to spare no expense in renting my speaking venue — part of my legal damages,” the last phrase likely a reference to damages she expects from a possible lawsuit against the University of California.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, she elaborated that “they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights.”
Berkeley already has seen violent clashes in which left-wing protesters tried (successfully) to shut down conservative speeches and events. Last week, a rally supporting President Trump became a full-scale riot and in February, a speech by then-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was shut down by rioters attacking the building.
• Victor Morton can be reached at email@example.com.
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