Officials at University of California at Berkeley reversed their decision to cancel a speech by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter. The university had previously announced on Wednesday that it was cancelling Coulter’s appearance following several political protests in Berkeley that turned violent.
But on Friday, the university said it had found a venue where it could hold the speech on May 2, instead of the original April 27 date. But a leader of the college republican group that originally invited Coulter said the university was placing strict conditions on the event, and he said his group intended to reject the new terms.
Before the reversal was announced, Coulter had vowed to go ahead with an appearance.
That would likely have put security officials on high alert and may have sparked another showdown in struggles over campus safety, student views and ideological openness.
“What are they going to do? Arrest me?” she said late Wednesday on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Coulter said she “called their bluff” by agreeing to rules set by the university seeking to prevent violence.
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 20, 2017
University officials originally sent a letter cancelling to the event to a campus Republican group that invited Coulter to speak. In it, university officials said Wednesday that they made the decision to cancel Coulter’s appearance after assessing the violence that flared on campus in February, when the same college Republican group invited right-wing provocateur and now-former Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos to speak.As the protest and clashes escalated during the Yiannopoulos’ event, some began setting fires, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails and attacking members of the crowd.
The violence and damage caused by Yiannopoulos’s invitation garnered national attention and forced officials to put the campus on lockdown. And after the university canceled Yiannopoulos’s talk, President Trump criticized the school and threatened in a tweet to pull federal funds from UC-Berkeley.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
The decisions by UC-Berkeley…