Ann Coulter is vowing to speak at the University of Berkeley in spite of the school’s decision to cancel her April 27 appearance due to “currently active security threats.” NPR reports that school Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton made the announcement via email early Wednesday morning. Representatives for the school indicated that they had been unable to find a safe location for Coulter’s appearance. The email indicated that the university was trying to determine a later date and time for her to speak, telling the Berkeley College Republicans they,
“remain firmly committed to working with you to find an alternative time and date for Ms. Coulter to come speak here at Berkeley. We expect most Mondays and Tuesdays in September during the day should work, though we will of course need to work through the details.”
Ann, however, took to Twitter on Wednesday night and indicated she will be appearing at Berkeley as previously scheduled despite the school’s announcement.
I am! At Berkeley next Thursday. https://t.co/SaOCFNRC7i
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 20, 2017
Affirming this decision, Pranav Jandhyala, one of the event’s organizers, said that, “She’s definitely coming to Berkeley on the 27th. We’re looking into alternative venues.”
Ann described her view of the decision to Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Yes, it was officially banned. But they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights.”
No school accepting public funds can ban free speech. https://t.co/EQsiAEWPpW
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 19, 2017
CNN reports that event organizers claim that the University of California Berkeley made several demands to which Ann agreed, only to have them cancel the event anyway. Among those demands were that she appear in the afternoon, that only students be allowed to attend, and that the location would not be announced until close to the event’s starting time.
The Washington Post reports that Coulter had made some demands of her own, including one that any students engaging in violence be expelled from the school.
In the communication about Ann’s April 27 event, university authorities cited the violence that erupted in February in response to the appearance of now-former Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Some of those in attendance started fires, attacked others in the crowd, and threw Molotov cocktails and rocks. It drew national attention and led to a campus lockdown. President Donald Trump also threatened pulling federal funding from Berkeley following the incident.
A spokesman for the university said that they were concerned that the timing of Coulter’s April 27 event, late afternoon, would create a risk for protests and violence continuing into the evening when many commuters and students are in the area. He defended the university’s actions as attempts to protect the safety of students and the speaker.
Ann Coulter appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show last night to discuss the situation.
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 20, 2017
Among the organizers of Ann Coulter’s speech are the Young American’s Foundation (YAF) and BridgeUSA. The YAF aims to expose students to conservative voices while BridgeUSA doesn’t align itself with either a liberal or conservative viewpoint. Instead they have a goal to create discussions by exposing people to opinions with which they don’t agree. Coulter’s planned topic for her Berkeley speech was immigration, a topic on which BridgeUSA founder and president Pranav Jandhyala believes conversation needs to happen. Spencer Brown of the YAF had this to say about recent events.
“This is as clear-cut a case as it gets that public universities are using taxpayer dollars to shut down conservative speech, while allowing liberal speech only.”
Ann echoed this view, saying,
“If that’s banned, then no conservative can speak. Meanwhile, corrupt banana republic leaders like Vicente Fox have the red carpet rolled out for them on the taxpayer’s dime.”
Fox is a former president of Mexico and spoke at Berkeley this week.
University spokesman Dan Mogulof insists that the actions taken by the school have nothing to do with Ann Coulter’s political views. He stated that the school fully supports the First Amendment and are going to make “a concerted effort to explain the reasons behind this.”
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]