Ann Coulter has canceled her controversial planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley.
“There will be no speech,” the conservative commentator said Wednesday in an email to. “I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team.”
Story Continued Below
Two conservative groups on campus had invited Coulter to speak Thursday. And despite university administrators’ insistence that she speak at a later date, Coulter was adamant that she would still speak on Thursday as planned.
Young America’s Foundation, however, said late Tuesday that it couldn’t risk the safety of staff and students, and Berkeley’s College Republicans also backed out.
“Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away,” Coulter told The New York Times on Wednesday. “It’s a sad day for free speech.”
UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said he was unsure whether Coulter would still speak but disputed media reports that university officials had canceled Coulter’s appearance.
“Contrary to some press reports and circulating narratives, the UC Berkeley administration did not cancel the Coulter event and has never prohibited Ms. Coulter from coming on campus,” he said.
Citing a commitment to free speech but concerns over safety, Dirks explained that the university offered Coulter alternative speaking dates to accommodate her while ensuring the safety of attendees and protesters.
Berkeley was home to February protests against a planned speech from then-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos that the university said resulted in $100,000 worth of damages to the campus, and more than 20 people were arrested earlier this month for violence during a protest, following a March 4 protest that ended with 10 arrests.
“This is a university, not a battlefield,” Dirks said. “We must make every effort to hold events at a time and location that maximizes the chances that First Amendment rights can be successfully exercised and that community members can be protected.”
Two conservative student groups filed suit Monday alleging that Berkeley was trying to “restrict conservative free speech,” and Coulter expressed confidence Wednesday that their suit could have won in court.
“Even the most lefty, Coulter-hating judge would probably have had to order Berkeley to let me speak,” she said.
Read more : http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/ann-coulter-cancels-uc-berkeley-speech-237639