Conservative students at the University of California at Berkeley are serious about free speech, and are suing the taxpayer-funded liberal college to protect it.
The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth group, filed a lawsuit against UC Berkeley on April 24, saying the university discriminates against conservative students and infringes their free-speech rights.
Ann Coulter was invited to speak at an event hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans club on April 27. Last week, UC Berkeley abruptly canceled the event, citing security concerns.
“It is a sad day indeed when the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement is morphing before our eyes into the cemetery of free speech on college campuses,” the groups’ attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, wrote in a letter last week to Berkeley’s chief attorney Christopher Patti and interim vice-chancellor Stephen Sutton.
On April 24, Coulter announced the lawsuit on Twitter, saying the plaintiffs demand an “appropriate and safe venue” for her speech on campus April 27. The lawsuit also seeks attorneys fees, unspecified monetary damages, and a jury trial.
Our lawsuit against Berkeley was just filed. Demands appropriate & safe venue for my speech THIS THURSDAY + damages https://t.co/I9fvYdDwBU
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 24, 2017
In February, violent riots erupted when former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at Berkeley. Masked rioters set fires, smashed windows, and assaulted conservative students, shutting down the event and forcing Milo to be evacuated from campus. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage occurred as a result of the riots, during which police refused to intervene.
University officials asked Coulter to reschedule her speech to May 2. Coulter rejected the offer, saying she’s not available that day. She also tweeted that there are no classes that week. That period, known as Dead Week, is when students are busy studying for finals.
In addition to facts: We've already spent $ for 4/27 Berkeley spc & I can't do May 2…THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2!!!
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
Ann Coulter said the rescheduling has nothing to do with security concerns, but is merely another attempt to silence conservative viewpoints on campus.
“You cannot impose arbitrary and harassing restrictions on the exercise of a constitutional right,” she told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “None of this has to do with security.”
Last week, the Berkeley College Republicans were forced to cancel a speech by conservative writer David Horowitz after receiving numerous threats of violence.
Similar censorship of conservative speakers has occurred on college campuses around the country. Last weekend, a pro-Trump rally in Berkeley was disrupted by masked anti-Trump protesters.
As it stands now, Coulter said she will speak at Berkeley on Thursday, as originally scheduled — with or without the university’s blessing. She plans to come with her own security detail.
Meanwhile, here are some scenes from last week’s pro-Trump rally, which was hijacked by masked leftist rioters:
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) April 15, 2017
— Golden Gate Xpress (@GGXnews) April 15, 2017
— Bobby Lee (@bybobbylee) April 15, 2017
After masked leftist rioters shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech, President Trump responded by threatening to cut off federal funding for the school. Last year, Berkeley received $370 million in federal funds.
Watching people break windows and set fires at UC Berkeley. Way to protest words by destroying property…idiots. pic.twitter.com/CsQJfC5ola
— Flp DeFranco (@PhillyD) February 2, 2017
— Rosie Memos⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@almostjingo) February 2, 2017