Ann Coulter Says She Was Forced To Cancel Her Speech At Berkeley [VIDEO]By Anne Collins, UniversityHerald Reporter
On Wednesday, Ann Coulter said she was forced to cancel her speech at the UC Berkeley on Thursday. School administrators said they could not provide a safe venue and risk violent protests at the university.
Coulter said it was a dark day for free speech in America. Coulter said despite the cancellation she might decide to turn up anyway.
After the event organizers and sponsor withdrew their support, Coulter still vowed to speak on campus at the Sproul Plaza. The Berkeley campus has witnessed destructive protests in recent months. University officials asked to postpone the speech until next week but Coulter showed determination to speak on Thursday.
The Young America's Foundation (YAF) and Berkeley College Republicans sued the university. The lawsuit claimed that the school administrators were trying to ban events that involved free speech. However, on Tuesday, YAF said they could no longer sponsor the talk.
The Washington Post reported that YAF said they would no longer jeopardize the safety of its staff or students and blamed Berkeley for creating the hostile atmosphere. They said Berkeley failed to ensure protection of their conservative speakers.
In response, Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said they did not cancel the Coulter event and certainly has not prohibited or banned Coulter from speaking on campus. He added that Berkeley is committed to defending free speech but also protecting the students. The reason why she could not speak was because the university saw that the venue available was not safe, BBC reported.
On Wednesday, Troy Warden, president of the campus Republicans, said the Berkeley College Republicans do not want to endanger people's lives and because of the university's unwillingness to do their job they were forced to cancel the event. Coulter also tweeted that she was sad about the cancellation.
Capt. Alex Yao of the Berkley campus police force said they will maintain strong police presence on Thursday if Coulter does decide to show up. Berkeley police has also reached out to local and state police forces to inform them if they might be calling for assistance.