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Berkeley's 'Free Speech Week' Is Canceled

Berkeley's 'Free Speech Week' Is Canceled

Coulter told The Associated Press that Yiannopoulos' team was in touch with hers about speaking but she heard "the administration was dead set on blocking this event" so she decided not to bother. And so come noon, he could be found sitting in a drab hotel room, flanked by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller and men's-rightser-cum-conspiracist Mike Cernovich. And when agitators threatened to swarm the campus, deter attendees and stamp out free speech once again, the Berkeley Patriot student organization chose to cancel its event for everyone's safety. However, Yiannopoulos announced Saturday that he would appear with others at an unsanctioned rally.

Despite the cancellation, Yiannopoulos said in a hastily assembled Facebook Live news conference that he would hold the Sunday event "come hell or high water".

Yiannopolous posted photos of police looking out over the plaza on rooftops.

He then invited UC Berkeley's Chancellor Carol Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano to debate with him or any conservative of their choice on the issue of free speech.

A protester rips a pro Milo sign after “borrowing” it from a participant at rally
A protester rips a pro Milo sign after “borrowing” it from a participant at rally

Yiannopoulos lashed out at university officials, who he said "leaked" Free Speech Week's speaker list to "domestic terrorists" like Antifa.

"The administration has done everything in its power to crush its own students' aspirations", he said.

Milo Yiannopoulos was whisked away in a vehicle after a brief appearance at the University of California, Berkeley that drew a few dozen supporters and a slightly larger crowd protesting the right-wing provocateur.

Yiannopoulous blasted UC Berkeley for having "hypocritically named this academic year its 'Year of Free Speech'". And his student co-organizers had hoped left-wing riots at the event might amplify Milo's message. It was as if no one but Sha Na Na had shown up at Yasgur's Farm.

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UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof took issue with the Berkeley Patriot's criticism, saying, "Claims that this is somehow the outcome desired by the campus are without basis in fact", ABC News reported.

Mogulof said the university was prepared to do "whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization".

While Yiannopoulos and Berkeley Patriot have repeatedly blamed the school for putting up roadblocks, school officials said the organizers missed a host of deadlines to secure indoor venues for the speakers. Despite these alleged missteps, UC Berkeley had said as late as Friday that it was still preparing for the rally. "This has never been about free speech". Instead, the theory goes, he wanted once again to claim the mantle of the martyred conservative man of ideas, suppressed by the liberal jackboots of the ivory tower. Since February, four political demonstrations have turned violent with masked anarchists rioting on campus. They already regard the school as a bastion of liberalism.

Demonstrators protesting it were kept behind barricades by police on Sproul Plaza.

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A brass band played, and protesters, many of them wearing masks, chanted and cheered and waved signs.

Milo is apparently planning to go it alone. "We will take care of you", he said, alluding to a surprise at Sunday's rally.

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