“they didn’t intend to actually go through with it last week”
By now, you may have heard that a n event at UC Berkeley called “Free Speech Week” which was set to feature Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon has been cancelled.
All we really know at this point is that the school didn’t cancel the event, it was the student group which was hosting it.
NBC News reports:
‘Free Speech Week’ at UC Berkeley Canceled, Milo Yiannopoulos Blames School
The University of California, Berkeley, announced Saturday that a conservative student group has canceled the so-called “Free Speech Week” it was organizing with right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
The Berkeley Patriot’s four-day event was set to begin Sunday and would have been “open to all political ideologies, with speakers representing conservatives, libertarians, and even liberals,” the group said. Each day had a theme: feminism, Silicon Valley, Islam or higher education.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement 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,” Assistant Vice Chancellor Dan Mogulof said in a statement.
UC Berkeley reportedly planned to spend nearly a million dollars on security for the event. Yiannopoulos’ appearance on the university’s campus in February sparked riots in which attendees threw rocks, fireworks and bricks. University police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in response, and Berkeley officials estimated the school suffered $100,000 in damage.
Milo is apparently planning to go it alone. The Times of Israel reports:
Right-wing troll pushes ahead with Berkeley rally plans
Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos vowed Saturday to hold a rally at the University of California, Berkeley, after a student group that planned a week of events with him called it off.
His announcement only added to a confusing turn of events surrounding “Free Speech Week,” a four-day campus event slated to begin Sunday featuring right-wing firebrands…
Yiannopoulos said he was blindsided and “personally irritated” by the news, but he insisted on holding a rally with fellow right-wing commentators Sunday on Sproul Plaza, the center of activity on campus during the 1960s Free Speech Movement.
“We are going to be hosting an event come hell or high water tomorrow,” Yiannopoulos said in a live video on Facebook. He made his comments from a hotel room after cancelling a news conference on San Francisco’s Treasure Island.
“We will be expressing our constitutional rights to free speech, free expression, on Sproul Plaza, the home of the Free Speech Movement, tomorrow as planned, with or without student help, with or without the cooperation of UC Berkeley itself.”
According to a report from the Mercury News, this was all a giant troll:
UC Berkeley’s ‘Free Speech Week’ officially canceled, appeared to be set-up from the start
A conservative UC Berkeley student group that had been working with right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to host a “Free Speech Week” on campus officially called off the four-day program on Saturday.
But the former columnist for the “alt-right” Breitbart News doubled down on his promise to go through with the event, leaving university and law enforcement officials wading into an unpredictable, potentially violent showdown on Sunday…
Still, it remained unclear Saturday who will show up to campus in the coming days, leaving the school facing exactly the type of situation administrators were hoping to avoid.
In an email chain obtained by the Bay Area News Group, Lucian Wintrich, one of the supposed speakers, told UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof Saturday morning that the event had been merely an attention grab 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 wrote.
Here’s a video report from the local CBS News affiliate:
Whatever the reasons for the cancellation, this seemed like a train wreck from the start. Berkeley definitely has a free speech problem, but maybe Milo Yiannopoulos isn’t the best person to fix it.
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