Berkeley cancels Milo Yiannopoulos talk after violent protests

Berkeley cancels Milo Yiannopoulos talk after violent protests

Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, a vocal Donald Trump supporter, was scheduled to speak at UC Berkley on Wednesday night, but the event had to be canceled due to violent protests from students and other activists. "We are now, and will remain in the future, committed to Free Speech not only as a vital component of our campus identity, but as essential to our educational mission".

But officials said it was a smaller group of protesters dressed in black and in hooded sweatshirts that showed up as night fell to break windows with metal barricades, throw smoke bombs and flares and start a large bonfire outside the building with a diesel generator.

The protest against Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur criticized for racist, misogynist, anti-transgender and white supremacist statements, caused about $100,000 in damage to campus property and led to the vandalism of more than a dozen businesses in downtown Berkeley and along Telegraph Avenue.

"If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?" the President wrote.

Administrators made a decision to cancel the Wednesday event about two hours before the Breitbart editor's speech.

Berkeley has almost 40,000 students.

Police officers above arrest the two men on the Berkeley California campus after the incident
Police officers above arrest the two men on the Berkeley California campus after the incident

Trump took offense Thursday morning over the canceled speech. "UCPD reported no major injuries and about a half-dozen minor injuries", the UC Berkeley public affairs office said in a statement. The Berkeley College Republicans, the group that planned his previous speaking event, did not immediately respond to requests for comment by this news organization.

Berkeley does receive a significant amount of federal funding, mostly in two forms, Hartle of the American Council of Education said.

"Simply put, President Trump's empty threat to cut funding from UC Berkeley is an abuse of power", Lee said.

The firebrand delights in challenging political correctness and attacking radical Islam and feminism, and his campus speeches generally draw loud protests by students and others on the left who try to shout him down or have him banned altogether.

As for how he got the credentials, Yiannopoulos said it wasn't hard.

They "provided the ultra-nationalist far right exactly the images they want to use to discredit the vast majority of peaceful protesters in Berkeley and across America who are deeply concerned about where the country is heading", said Jesse Arreguin, the mayor. "But there's no authority to pull it based on free speech conditions", she said. "I don't know the law, but I don't believe federal funds could be withdrawn or withheld on this basis".

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