After the University of California, Berkeley canceled an upcoming campus lecture by pundit Ann Coulter on Wednesday, citing security concerns, Coulter responded that she was coming to the campus anyway.
Young America’s Foundation, which was sponsoring and organizing Coulter’s lecture along with BridgeCal and the Berkeley College Republicans, told the Washington Examiner that Berkeley Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell emailed student organizers to inform them that his staff could not find a “safe and suitable venue” for the speech. Greenwell added, “Given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully – or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience, and bystanders could be adequately protected – at any of the campus venues.”
YAF issued this statement:
UC-Berkeley, a publicly-funded university, first imposed a series of ridiculous requirements on the speech allegedly in the name of “safety.” Coulter, we were informed, would be required to deliver her speech in the afternoon; only students would be allowed to attend; and the speech location would not be announced until close to the event. Against our advice, Coulter agreed to all these requirements. In return, she requested two measures, which actually had something to do with safety:
1) That the University of California chancellor request that the Oakland chief of police refrain from telling his men to stand down and ignore law-breaking by rioters attempting to shut down conservative speakers, as he has done in the past; and
2) That UC-Berkeley announce in advance that any students engaging in violence, mayhem or heckling to prevent an invited speaker from speaking would be expelled.
As Coulter explained, “If Berkeley wants to have free speech, it can have it.”
The university’s response was to ban her speech.
YAF also stated, “The university, and U-C chancellor Janet Napolitano personally, have revealed themselves to be using taxpayer money for an unconstitutional purpose. Even after Coulter went along with their ruses and guises to shut down her speech, they simply announced, like Kim Jung Un, that it was cancelled.”
Coulter told The Hollywood Reporter, “Yes, it was officially banned. But they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights … If that’s banned, then no conservative can speak. Meanwhile, corrupt banana republic leaders like Vicente Fox have the red carpet rolled out for them on the taxpayer’s dime.” She added, “I’ve acceded to all their silly demands, which they thought would end it. When I said, ‘yes, yes, yes,’ they canceled anyway. No more clear-cut proof that taxpayer-supported universities will not allow conservative speakers.”
Fox, the former president of Mexico, spoke in Berkeley this week.
On Saturday, protests on the campus led to the arrests of 21 people.
YAF will live stream the event on its website.