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Conservative ‘Free Speech Week’ cancelled at UC Berkeley

A conservative UC Berkeley student group working with right-wing instigator Milo Yiannopoulos to host a ‘Free Speech Week’ on campus has had to cancel the event. 

The former Breibart News columnist promised to still have the four-day program in Berkeley, California, according to The Mercury News.

The assurance is causing university and law officials to have to still prepare for a potentially violent clash on Sunday.

 

A conservative UC Berkeley student group working with right-wing instigator Milo Yiannopoulos to host a ‘Free Speech Week’ on campus has had to cancel

The former Breibart News columnist promised to still have the four-day program in Berkeley, California, minus the group the Berkeley Patriot

The former Breibart News columnist promised to still have the four-day program in Berkeley, California, minus the group the Berkeley Patriot

During a Facebook Live news conference Saturday morning, Yiannopoulos asserted that the event would move on without the Berkely Patriot student group.  

‘We are going to be hosting an event come hell or high water tomorrow,’ he said, accompanied by anti-Islam writer Pamela Geller and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, only two of the handful of notables who said they would be in attendance. 

 Yiannopoulos, 33, who launched Milo Inc. earlier this year, offered little details but claimed to hold a rally on campus at Sproul Plaza at noon ‘with or without’ the group and that there would be a ‘huge surprise.’

School officials claimed that they expected to spend about $1million on security and logistics for the week

School officials claimed that they expected to spend about $1million on security and logistics for the week

However, he added: ‘I can’t promise you’re going to be safe. It’s not an official event.’

‘Anti-facist’ demonstrators and Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer have both asserted that they will be in town for Free Speech Week. Patriot Prayer, a Portland, Oregon-based group has attracted ‘alt-right’ fans. 

But all is still a toss up, with university officials uncertain about who all will show up to the demonstration. 

An anonymous source told the Bay Area News Group Saturday that some speakers never intended to come to the event at all. They even went as far to say that Yiannopoulos was scrambling just to piece the pieces together

An anonymous source told the Bay Area News Group Saturday that some speakers never intended to come to the event at all. They even went as far to say that Yiannopoulos was scrambling just to piece the pieces together

Speaker Lucian Wintrich, in an email chain obtained by the Bay Area News Group, told UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof on Saturday morning that the event was just an attention seeker from the start.

‘It was known that they didn’t intend to actually go through with it last week, and completely decided on Wednesday,’ Wintrich, a writer for the right-wing blog The Gateway Pundit, said.

‘Wait, whoah, hold on a second,’ said a shocked Mogulof. 

‘What, exactly, are you saying? What were you told by MILO Inc? Was it a set-up from the get-go?’

‘Yes,’ Wintrich added.

On the phone, Saturday afternoon, Wintrich shared he was criticized for being scared of left wing ‘antifa’ protesters when he withdrew his name from the speaker list last week.  

‘No, no,’ Wintrich said. 

The Free Speech Week would have helped the left-leaning school, which has had to battle claims that it doesn't support conservative free speech

The Free Speech Week would have helped the left-leaning school, which has had to battle claims that it doesn’t support conservative free speech

‘What’s the point of keeping your name on something that’s set up to fail?’

In an email to news media on Saturday morning, Mogulof said: ‘It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement (about the cancellation of Free Speech Week) was made at the last minute, even as the university was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life in order to provide the needed security for these events.’

At a conference on Saturday afternoon interrupted by shouting protesters from Refuse Facism, Mogulof said that the university was ready for the provocateur’s arrival. 

School officials claimed that they expected to spend about $1million on security and logistics for the week. 

The last time the controversial figure was on campus in February, the school was rocked by violent demonstrations. 

Ben Shapiro’s seemingly peaceful event on campus earlier this month only cost the university $600,000 in additional security from all across the University of California system. The annual ‘demonstration fund’ is $250,000. 

Ben Shapiro's seemingly peaceful event on campus earlier this month only cost the university $600,000 in additional security from all across the University of California system. The annual 'demonstration fund' is $250,000

Ben Shapiro’s seemingly peaceful event on campus earlier this month only cost the university $600,000 in additional security from all across the University of California system. The annual ‘demonstration fund’ is $250,000

The Free Speech Week would have helped the left-leaning school, which has had to battle claims that it doesn’t support conservative free speech. But it was never at full throttle.

University officials said that the group missed deadlines needed to secure indoor vendors. 

Ann Coulter backed away from the event because of the commotion and other noticeable figures claimed they never had any intention of coming.  

Yiannopoulos even claimed that he expected at least one speaker just to ‘troll’ him.

An anonymous source told the Bay Area News Group Saturday that some speakers never intended to come to the event at all. They even went as far to say that Yiannopoulos was scrambling just to piece the pieces together. 

Some 300 protesters descended on Telegraph Avenue toward the southern edge of campus to peacefully demonstrate – and were followed by at least a half dozen police cars.  

Former military intelligence analyst who spent years in prison for leaking classified informartion, Chelsea Manning, even made an appearance at the march.

Some 300 left-wing protesters descended on Telegraph Avenue toward the southern edge of campus to peacefully demonstrate. Chelsea Manning even made an appearance at the march

Some 300 left-wing protesters descended on Telegraph Avenue toward the southern edge of campus to peacefully demonstrate. Chelsea Manning even made an appearance at the march

She shared her own testimony about her visit at Harvard University for a visiting fellowship was cancelled after receiving flack from CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

‘Where were the free-speech people on that?’ she asked.

Manning was allegedly told not to come to the event because it wasn’t safe, but she asserted that she came to support the anti-hate movement.

Manning added: ‘We need each other right now.’  

‘Hateful movements don’t have a place, and they should not have a place on a publicly run university’ campus, said Pablo Espinoza, another marcher.

Melo the attorney said, in a letter on Saturday, that the university was creating roadblocks for the student group and that they were ‘contemplating initiating litigation against the responsible parties and the administration for violation of our clients’ civil rights.’

‘This has never been about free speech,’ said American studies professor, Michael Cohen.

‘This is the equivalent of a five-day flat earther conference in front of the physics department.’

Mogulof also added: ‘Claims that this is somehow the outcome desired by the campus are without basis in fact. The university was prepared to do whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization.’ 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk