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UC Berkeley flip-flops on Ann Coulter, proposes May date

22 April 2017

Citing safety concerns, administrators on Wednesday postponed Coulter's scheduled April 27 appearance, saying it needed more time to find a "suitable venue".

Coulter has vowed to stick to the original April 27 date, which she says was tacitly agreed to by the UC-Berkeley administration when she agreed to conditions that the university set, such as limiting the audience of the speech to students and declining to announce the location of the speech until shortly before it begins.

"But the university said it had advised Coulter's representatives and the Berkeley College Republicans, which organized the April 27 Coulter event, that the speaking engagement would take place next month", The Times reports.

The May 2 venue will be revealed upon approval by the student sponsors and the Coulter organization, Mogulof said.

Her threat to come "regardless" of Berkeley's wishes forced the school to act fast and reschedule the appearance for May 2, said Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor for public affairs.

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Early Wednesday, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton emailed a message to organizers that "given now active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully".

Dirks said Thursday that Coulter's reaction led him to launch an expanded search for an "appropriate, protectable venue".

Last Saturday, at least 20 people were arrested and several were injured near downtown Berkeley when pro-Trump supporters and other groups of people clashed.

They note in particular the riots that engulfed the campus back in February when campus Republicans invited the right-wing self-described provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to speak.

"Berkeley impermissibly has allowed a "heckler's veto" to suppress the free-speech rights of speakers properly invited by recognized student groups", wrote Dhillon.

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Coulter said that even though her appearance was "officially banned", she will find a way. 'Given current active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully'.

Campus police are working closely with the City of Berkley Police Department to identify the individuals responsible for the extensive damage.

"As the home of the free speech movement, we fully support the right of our students to host speakers of their choice", Dirks said.

Berkeley had "imposed a series of ridiculous requirements" on Coulter's speech, according to Spencer Brown (disclosure: Brown was an intern at the Washington Examiner when I worked there), a spokesman for Young America's Foundation, which along with BridgeCal and the Berkeley College Republicans had invited Coulter.

"Our approach is going to be different than the approach for the Milo event, again based on our after-action review", UC Berkeley police Capt. Alex Yao said.

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