In case you haven’t gotten enough of watching Americans beat each other bloody on a California college campus because of political disagreements, there’s at least one more Berkeley riot that will take place in the near future. That is, as long as the people who thought it was a good idea to invite highly controversial conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak at UC Berkeley don’t change their minds or, in light of Saturday’s events, have their minds changed for them.
“Berkeley Republicans” may sound like an oxymoron, but apparently, they do exist as a group known as Berkeley College Republicans have scheduled Ann Coulter, who is perhaps the most hated woman on the Right, to give an on-campus speech about the hot-button issue of immigration on Thursday, April 27.
Why do the Berkeley College Republicans insist on hosting one of the most tendentious figures in America at a place where violence is guaranteed to ensue as a result? According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s because they like the attention it brings to their cause.
Before Saturday’s riots, a hate-charged melee took place on February 1 on the UC Berkeley campus when a different controversial figure, Milo Yiannopoulos, had been scheduled to speak, an event also put together by the College Republicans. The rioters, whose aim was to shut the venue down, got what they wanted, as the speech was canceled and Milo, who was supposed to have spoken about immigration, was forced to leave the premises in order to ensure he wasn’t a victim of the violence his presence had caused.
Central to the Berkeley riots of past, present, and future is Antifa. Short for “anti-fascism,” Antifa is an anti-Trump movement with active members throughout the country. Once word got out that a pro-Trump, free speech rally would be taking place in Berkeley, California, there was nothing anyone could have done to keep Antifa from showing up.
According to Daily Caller, Saturday’s battle between Antifa and President Trump loyalists in the city of Berkeley is the third of its kind to occur in 2017. So unless Ann Coulter’s speech is canceled, we can expect April 27 to be the fourth time these opposing forces come to blows with one another.
In the aftermath of the Yiannopoulos riots, Berkeley Republicans saw a sharp increase in students interested in joining their group. In order to dissuade violence on the day Coulter is scheduled to be there, members are reportedly taking measures of prevention on April 27 by teaming up with another, more “moderate” UC political student group known as BridgeCal.
UC Berkeley’s BridgeCal chapter was established thanks to Pranav Jandhyala, who, during the Milo riots, suffered a concussion whilst being swarmed by militant “protesters” (Antifa). He says, “BridgeCal seeks to fix the political divide. It’s a place where political adversaries can discuss issues in an environment that is respectful and solutions-based.”
Berkeley Antifa attempts to scratch out quote pointing out its hypocrisy, fails miserably again???? pic.twitter.com/1gTfKVzxfO
— Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) April 16, 2017
While this vision of understanding between those with different beliefs described by Jandhyala is exactly what Americans need, it’s closer to a fantasy than a reality. The reason for this is because the people who come to Berkeley to riot have zero interest in constructive dialogue with those they disagree with. Their motive is to crush the opposition, which is why wherever they go, violence follows. Their only reason for building a bridge with someone of a different mindset is to lure them onto the bridge before setting fire to it and watching as they burn.
— David Kirkland (@DavidKirklandJr) April 16, 2017
There are many scary things about these Berkeley riots. One of the most disturbing, I believe, is that many people seem to consider the clashes to be actual battles like those fought in a war. One tweeter expressed her happiness at “winning” against Antifa as seen in the Twitter post below, making me wonder, are these riots a foreshadowing of the second American Civil War?
— Irma Hinojosa ???????? (@irmahinojosa_) April 16, 2017
Antifa is just looking for a reason to wreak havoc. It doesn’t matter why Ann Coulter is going to visit UC Berkeley. She could be scheduled to speak about why the sky is blue and Trump opposers would still come to riot, because Coulter is conservative; she voted for Donald Trump, and in the eyes of Antifa, Ann’s very presence is worthy of violent backlash.
How many more battles like the ones we’re seeing play out in Berkeley will ensue before someone loses their life? Should this scheduled appearance by Coulter on April 27 be canceled?
[Updated April 20, 10:28 a.m. EST]
As it turns out, the Ann Coulter event scheduled to take place at UC Berkeley on Thursday, April 27 has officially been canceled due to worries more dangerous riots will break out. Despite this, Coulter remains intent on speaking at the college.
Ann spoke with Fox New’s Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night. The two discussed the problems they believe have been exposed as a result of Berkeley canceling Coulter’s speech. Tucker even went so far as to reference the “Orwellian” flavor of the circumstances.
The term “Orwellian” refers to George Orwell’s acclaimed novel 1984, which is about a society crippled by an authoritarian government, in which free speech does not exist and even thinking certain thoughts is against the law.
Carlson and Coulter point out the hypocrisy of Berkeley proclaiming to be a place where free speech is a firmly held value, yet still deciding to ban a speaker based largely on her political stance.
Ann said that everyone will know for certain how important the first amendment is to the institution depending on how they react to her appearance next week.
“We’ll find out if they arrest me when I show up to give my speech.”
She told Carlson that after agreeing to speak at Berkeley, campus officials gave her all sorts of preconditions for which her event would revolve around, which she says “they never do for liberal speakers.” Nevertheless, Ann accepted all limitations, only to now be denied the right to address those who wish to hear what she has to say.
Coulter believes that the cancelation of her event is more of an attempt to censor her viewpoints rather than a decision made with the safety of the public in mind. The contentious, multiple New York Times bestselling author suggested the university be subject to criticism for making known she’d be speaking several weeks in advance. If they had waited to announce the event days or even hours before she was due to arrive, perhaps they wouldn’t have to worry as much about rioters wreaking havoc.
[Featured Image by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images]