USA

UC Berkeley calls off Ann Coulter talk for security reasons

UC Berkeley has canceled Ann Coulter's planned talk on April 27 because it can not guarantee the safety of the right-wing commentator or the safety of attendees or those protesting her appearance.

The Times notes that the Berkeley College Republicans will still host Coulter on April 27, but her speech will take place off campus.

Coulter was slated to speak at the University of California, Berkeley next week after the Berkeley College Republicans invited her.

She added in another post that she had instructed the Republican student group that invited her "to spare no expense in renting my speaking venue - part of my legal damages".

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Wednesday.

A recent demonstration supporting President Donald Trump in Berkeley exploded into a vicious melee when a barrier separating white supremacists and counter-demonstrators broke, resulting in at least 20 arrests.

University spokesman Dan Mogulof said concern about security during the event mounted last week after posters appeared on the walls of campus buildings threatening disruptions.

For that reason, when we learned through the newspapers that you had invited Ms. Coulter to speak here on April 27th, we immediately asked UCPD to conduct a comprehensive review of potential sites and security arrangements.

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A spokesman for the university told AFP the school's College Republicans were informed late Tuesday that the event with Coulter had to be scrapped as the safety of the firebrand conservative commentator and the public could not be assured.

"Given current active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully", the letter read. Through YAF, she has been negotiating with the university for days, trying to ensure a safe forum for an exchange of ideas with students in a question and answer session, after giving a speech.

While Registered Student Organizations like yours are independent from the University, and have the right to invite whoever they'd like to speak here, the campus retains responsibility for ensuring safety and security during such events.

Brown noted that Coulter had agreed to a number of demands by the university - such as the speech would be delivered in the afternoon and only be open to students - while offering her own requests to be upheld by the university.

She followed that tweet up and next wrote, 'No school accepting public funds can ban free speech'.

The spokesperson said that the university is looking to reschedule Coulter's speech for sometime in September, and said that police will require the event to end by 3:30 PM in order to protect commuters and students from clashing with any protests.

Group members have stressed that they have "no intention of acceding to these unconstitutional acts".



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