Leftist protesters who formed a human wall repeatedly pushed away and intimidated people trying to attend a speech by conservative commentator Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley, on Wednesday night.
Amber Tang, a senior reporter from the school's student-run newspaper The Daily Californian, captured a number of disturbing incidents on video:
“You can leave or you can chill here with us for three hours” shouts one protester #Coulterprotest https://t.co/poNO6BTUKi— Amber Tang (@Amber Tang)1574313519.0
Protesters have now turned away multiple event attendees from this south entrance #Coulterprotest https://t.co/ciq3CZbolJ— Amber Tang (@Amber Tang)1574313400.0
An event attendee attempts to enter Wheeler Hall but is quickly stopped by protesters with linked arms… https://t.co/U5oawWE4cK— Amber Tang (@Amber Tang)1574313023.0
In this clip, a lone female tries to get through the human wall when an individual apparently posing as an event official offers to take her ticket and then takes off with it — to the squealing delight of the protesters:
“Go home” protesters chant, linking arms to prevent a woman from entering Wheeler Hall #Coulterprotest https://t.co/KX6WB4eTnM— Amber Tang (@Amber Tang)1574312335.0
The same female is seen in this clip walking next to the wall of protesters who begin to get hostile, yelling "get the f*** out of here, bitch!" while much larger men stare her down and intimidate her. (Content warning: Language):
People cheer as a woman attempting to enter the event is turned away by protesters #Coulterprotest https://t.co/jLSm8oaXKW— Amber Tang (@Amber Tang)1574312164.0
Demonstrators said they didn't want Coulter to speak and were willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure she doesn't, a KTVU-TV reporter noted.
"They can protest all they want, shout their slogans, free speech. I'm cool with that," Derrick Main, a Marin County Republican Central Committee member, told the station. "But I am not cool with having somebody block our way getting in."
Coulter gets — cough, cough — warm welcome
Coulter actually made it into Wheeler Hall and gave her speech. Here's a clip she posted of security escorting her past protesters who screamed and cursed her out. But hey, at least they were highly educated profanities. (Content warning: Language):
My red carpet walk! https://t.co/11ntYyRxDH— Ann Coulter (@Ann Coulter)1574325631.0
What else happened?
Coulter's speech — sponsored by the Berkeley College Republicans — was delayed by the protesters, KTVU said. A cameraman for the station said the venue was two-thirds full and included only two hecklers. One was kicked out, KTVU said, and the other was allowed to stay after he agreed to be quiet.
UC Berkeley Police tweeted that "multiple masked protesters" were arrested, as covering one's face is against campus protest policy, the station said, adding that seven arrests were made.
But not every student was against Coulter speaking.
"I think it's important to hear people like her speak, to know that this is real," Aurora Lopez told KTVU. "We learn about stuff like this in the classroom."
Student Luke Radabaugh added to the station, "I may not agree with what she has to say, but she has all the right to say it. I think it could even open up to better discourse to start a conversation. By shutting down the conversation, it really leads to nothing."
Anti-Coulter student Gianluca Pedrani spelled out his position to KTVU, noting that "fundamentally we have the right to free speech. What we're doing by protesting is showing that her specific speech is not welcome here."