First came left-wing riots on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, earlier this year over a planned speech by alt-right pundit Milo Yiannopoulos.
On the heels of that headline-grabbing disaster, the school seemed to everything in its power to deep-six a planned speech in the spring by another well-known conservative figure, Ann Coulter.
And that’s what came to pass.
The conservative student group Young America’s Foundation — the sponsor of Coulter’s speech that was set for April 27 — told the Washington Examiner that Berkeley Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell emailed the group saying a “safe and suitable venue” for the event couldn’t be found.
“Given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience, and bystanders could be adequately protected — at any of the campus venues,” the email read, according to the paper.
Enter yet another conservative figure, Ben Shapiro, who has been set to give a speech at Berkeley in September.
And wouldn’t you know school officials reportedly notified YAF and told them they just can’t seem to find “an available campus venue” for Shapiro’s event?
Seems UC Berkeley — known as the birthplace of the free-speech movement in the 1960s — only can accommodate venue requests “when events are held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required security measures,” according to a letter from Greenwell and the student organization coordinator, the College Fix noted.
YAF said the school’s “inability to find a lecture hall more than two months in advance is laughable,” the College Fix added.
But Bradley Devlin, secretary of the Berkeley College Republicans, on Thursday wrote a scathing piece for the Daily Wire, ripping his school administration for trying to block Shapiro’s speech using “lies, deceit, and incoherent policy” — and then putting officials on notice.
More from Devlin’s piece:
Former speakers were all barred from speaking at Berkeley because the administration would place arbitrary hoops the Berkeley College Republicans would have to jump through in order to host an event. Other organizations could host Justice Sotomayor and Vicente Fox (former President of Mexico) at any venue and time they wanted, without the university skipping a beat. But as soon as the Berkeley College Republicans attempted to bring prominent conservatives on campus, the University turned obstructionist. They delayed and increased the costs of hosting an event, caved to the heckler’s veto as a “security risk,” and turned to enforcing unwritten policies such as “high profile speakers cannot speak in the evening” (despite the fact Vicente Fox and Justice Sotomayor spoke in the evening).
Then Devlin set down the gauntlet: “I have some bad news for you, Berkeley: We will never waiver in our fight for free speech, and Ben is coming to Berkeley whether you like it or not.”