The University of California at Berkeley is charging the College Republicans club a $15,738 “security fee” for an event featuring conservative author Ben Shapiro.
The extortion demand is basically an admission by UC Berkeley that its students are violent Antifa thugs who will riot, loot, and set fire to campus property in order to censor conservative viewpoints.
Shapiro is scheduled to speak at an event on September 14, hosted by the College Republicans group. UC Berkeley administrators responded by demanding a $15,738 “security fee.”
Because most college students don’t have that kind of money to spend on a school event, the conservative group Young America’s Foundation stepped in and offered to pay what it calls “a tax on free speech.”
It’s unclear why Berkeley is demanding the “security fee” from the College Republicans club when it received $370 million in federal funding last year. UCB is one of the richest universities in the world, with an annual endowment (i.e., donations) that topped $4 billion in 2015.
The school certainly does not need the money, which suggests the fee was punitive and designed to make the College Republicans club cancel its event.
Ben Shapiro — a conservative commentator who graduated from Harvard Law School —told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum he hopes UC Berkeley will do the right thing and protect free speech.
“This is going to be a test of the administration, it’s going to be a test of the police,” he said. “Are you going to fulfill your promise to protect free speech? Or are you just going to … allow Antifa and the far-left to do whatever they want to shut down speech with which they disagree?”
Shapiro had one request from his fans: don’t be drawn in to fight the thugs. “Do not come ready to do violence in defense of my free speech rights,” he said. “We just paid so that Berkeley will do it. Either Berkeley is going to protect my free speech rights or they’re not.”
In February 2017, violent riots erupted when former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at Berkeley. Masked Antifa thugs 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.
In April 2017, UC Berkeley abruptly canceled an event featuring conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, citing security concerns.
The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation responded by filing a lawsuit against UC Berkeley, saying the university discriminates against conservative students and infringes their free-speech rights.
The irony of all this is that UC Berkeley is considered the birthplace of the free-speech movement. Oh well…another myth shot to pieces.
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