National News

Ann Coulter vows to speak at Berkeley despite cancellation

Posted 6:41 p.m. Wednesday
Updated 5:58 a.m. Thursday

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2011 file photo, Ann Coulter waves to the audience after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. Coulter's planned appearance at the University of California, Berkeley on April 27 has been canceled because of security concerns. UC Berkeley officials say they were unable to find "a safe and suitable" venue for the right-wing provocateur, whom campus Republicans had invited to speak. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

— Ann Coulter fired off an angry stream of tweets Wednesday vowing to speak as planned next week at the University of California, Berkeley after campus officials called off the event for security concerns.

"I WILL BE SPEAKING NEXT THURSDAY," the right-wing commentator tweeted, calling the move to cancel her planned event on April 27 a ban on free speech.

Coulter was invited to speak at Berkeley by campus Republicans on the subject of illegal immigration. The event raised concerns of more violence at Berkeley, where masked rioters smashed windows, set fires and shut down an appearance by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos in February.

University officials sent the Berkeley College Republicans a letter Tuesday, saying that officials and campus police had determined they could not ensure the safety of Coulter, audience members or protesters expected at the event.

"We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue," said the letter from Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton. "Given current active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully."

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Wednesday.

The cancellation comes days after violent clashes between far-right and far-left protesters Saturday at a rally supporting President Donald Trump in downtown Berkeley.

University spokesman Dan Mogulof said that campus police learned that some of the groups that appeared to be responsible for the violence last weekend and at the Yiannopoulos event "planned to target the appearance of Ann Coulter on campus."

Last week, posters went up on campus threatening disruption of the event and officials also found chatter on various websites indicating the possibility of planned violence, Mogulof said.

In its letter, the university said the students and officials could work together to reschedule the event for a later date. It noted that "most Mondays and Tuesdays in September during the day should work."

Coulter posted eight tweets in a span of 17 minutes after reports of the cancellation surfaced Wednesday. She called claims of the university trying to set up an alternate date "FAKE NEWS!"

The event was being co-organized by a campus group called BridgeCal and the Young America's Foundation, a conservative group that books Coulter's campus speeches.

"We have no intention of acceding to these unconstitutional acts," the Young America's Foundation said in a statement. "The Ann Coulter lecture... will go forward."

5 Comments

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  • Quid Malmborg Apr 20, 10:11 p.m.
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    "Is only certain speech guaranteed to be free? If so; Who decides?"

    Certain speech is not protected by the US Constitution. The SCOTUS decides the constitutionality. Lower courts decide if certain speech can be construed as criminal (e.g. communication of threats).

    "Does the majority get to decide what speech they believe should be protected Do you get to decide? Does a faceless bureaucracy?"

    See previous response.

    "Are you genuinely unable to follow the logical repercussions of limiting any speech?"

    Please describe these "logical repercussions of limiting any speech." What repercussions are there when individuals are prosecuted for using speech, for example, to harass and intimidate others, or else to cause panic?

    "Are those really repercussions that you want?"

    You don't state what those "repercussions" are. Your question, such as it is, is irrelevant.

  • Matt Smithe Apr 19, 8:22 p.m.
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    If what you advocate for were the historical case then many of the liberal concepts taken for granted today would never have been allowed to be presented to a wide audience and eventually brought into the mainstream.

    Is only certain speech guaranteed to be free? If so; Who decides? Does the majority get to decide what speech they believe should be protected? Do you get to decide? Does a faceless bureaucracy? Are you genuinely unable to follow the logical repercussions of limiting any speech? Are those really repercussions that you want?

  • Quid Malmborg Apr 19, 7:59 p.m.
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    Speech such as hers isn't free- it comes with a heavy price. Just like the hate speech from our current, so-called POTUS who incites his followers to commit violence.

  • Quid Malmborg Apr 19, 7:56 p.m.
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    Of what relevance is she? Her sole purpose is provocation, not dialogue. She should be headlining Klan rallies, if anything at all.

  • Matt Smithe Apr 19, 4:59 p.m.
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    Birthplace of Free Speech indeed!