“Free speech Week,” spearheaded by Milo Yiannapolous and Berkeley’s conservative campus newspaper, ended abruptly over the weekend after the student organization decided to cancel the event due to pressure from campus administration.
Yiannapolous, keynote speaker and former senior editor at Breitbart News, was accompanied by anti-Islamic writer Pamela Geller and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich.
The newspaper pulled out of the event citing safety concerns and Marguerite Melo, the group’s attorney, claimed the “university has made it impossible to hold the event.”
“A lot of these speakers have withdrawn. To have an empty gesture of ‘Free Speech Week,’ when there are no speakers is impossible. And the university couldn’t guarantee our speakers would be safe,” she said.
During Ben Shapiro's visit, the university blew through its annual demonstration fund of $250,000. According to the Mercury News, Shapiro's visit cost the university a whopping $600,000 to guarantee security.
Yiannapolous decided to carry on the event without the Berkeley Patriot and took to Facebook to assure the events would still take place. "We shall speak in Berkeley, we shall speak on the plazas and the steps. We shall defend free speech, whatever the cost may be. We shall never surrender!"
Pat argued you should be able to hear someone like Milo speak at a college campus without worrying about your safety and also asserted that Milo really isn't a Conservative, to begin with.
“Free speech is dead,” said Pat. “At least at UC Berkeley.”