Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Ann Coulter a no-show at raucous but peaceful Berkeley rally

"Many of the individuals and organizations which planned to protest Ann Coulter's appearance or support it still intend to come to campus", UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

But there were no major confrontations between Coulter's supporters and opponents, largely because of a significant police presence and the fact that members of an extremist left-wing group did not show up to provoke clashes.

Several hundred people gathered for an afternoon rally supporting Coulter at Martin Luther King, Jr. "The university has two non-negotiable commitments, one to Free Speech the other to the safety of our campus community".

He said the Berkeley College Republicans erred by inviting Coulter without notifying campus officials in advance, as is required of all student groups, and failing to submit to a "security assessment" to determine a suitable time and place for the event.

Something is clearly amiss on campuses, and especially at public institutions like Berkeley where students and faculty must enjoy and are entitled to the same First Amendment rights and protections that they would off-campus. Videos posted by students and activists showed dozens of police officers deploying around campus. That group claimed on its Facebook page that Coulter is a racist and called far-right supporters "antithetical to the legacy of the Free Speech Movement".

Ashton Whitty, left, 21, and Hailey Carlson, right, 24, University of California, Berkeley students, make their feelings known during a press conference held by the Berkeley College Republicans in Sproul Plaza on the Cal campus in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. The notion that administrators can be selective about who can and cannot speak on their campuses-based, in advance, on the content of the presumed speech-and can then make capricious decisions about fees, venues, and scheduling in order to obstruct or degrade the speaker's message is, obviously, something that not only violates nearly every institution's own professed loyalty to academic free speech and unbridled expression, but violates constitutional protections-and is therefore unlawful.

Kamau Bell, host of the show "United Shades of America", declared on Thursday the cancellation of college speakers like Ann Coulter is a matter of protecting students from so-called hate speech and has nothing to do with free speech.

This time, police said they took a new approach, including a large deployment of visible officers and a low tolerance for violence.

"There will be no speech", Coulter wrote in an email to Reuters on Wednesday. Because you realize, she doesn't actually want to speak. "Numerous protesters have ".

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"Both sides are so intolerant of each other".

Another group held signs saying "refuse fascism".

"This university is not a battlefield", he says.

"I live in Berkeley, like I said earlier".

Hundreds of Coulter's supporters gathered in a downtown Berkeley park Thursday to protest the cancellation of her speaking event at the University of California, Berkeley.

"We are here because Ann Coulter got canceled", he said. Later today, there's a pro-Coulter and pro-Trump group called the Proud Boys who will stage an event at a nearby park.

They say intelligence and online chatter by groups threatening to instigate violence over the acid-tongued Coulter has them on edge.

"It's true that in recent months, protests on or near this bucolic campus have turned violent", CNN said.

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