Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

“I’m Speaking”: Coulter to Defy College Officials, Visit UC Berkeley Anyway

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Left-wing snowflakes are at it again — this time shutting down a speaking gig by Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley. Violent protesters rioted there earlier this year when alt-right pot-stirrer Milo Yiannopolous came to campus, and his event eventually had to be cancelled after the protesters destroyed school property, threw Molotov cocktails, and assaulted students.

Looking to prevent a similar display of violence, the administration at UC Berkeley first canceled Coulter’s appearance, then rescheduled it to a later date. But Coulter, in an act of defiance, has announced she will be speaking at the university on the original date, tweeting:

The university has issued a statement implying that they will allow the event to happen but refusing to guarantee proper security:

“Ms. Coulter’s announcement that she intends to come to this campus on April 27 without regard for the fact that we don’t have a protectable venue available on that date is of grave concern,” Mr. Dirks said in a statement. “At the same time, we respect and support Ms. Coulter’s own First Amendment rights.”

Even far-left liberals like Robert Reich see the violence on college campuses as problematic. Reich told The New York Times:

“Free speech is what universities are all about,” Robert Reich, a labor secretary in the Clinton administration and now a professor of public policy at Berkeley, wrote on his website. “If universities don’t do everything possible to foster and protect it, they aren’t universities. They’re playpens.”

So how can universities like UC Berkeley start to push back against this free-speech-halting chaos from the Left? It’s simple: Arrest and punish the violent protesters.

I’m all for free speech — especially speech I disagree with. It forces me to think critically and helps me strengthen my arguments. But Molotov cocktails? Assault? Destroying school property? Those types of actions deserve a jail sentence.

Prior to his presidency, then-Governor Ronald Reagan faced a similar situation at UC Berkeley. Students were violently protesting the construction of a new sports field and student housing, and Reagan, who had campaigned on cracking down on the radicals at Berkeley, sent in the National Guard to arrest the protesters.

The decision was more than controversial. Reagan came under fire from the media and political elites and was criticized for not negotiating with the students. This was his response:

REAGAN: They were going to physically destroy the University. Now why did you…

REPORTER 1: They’ve offered to negotiate, many times.

REAGAN: Negotiate? What is there to negotiate?

REPORTER 2: The University is a public institution…

REAGAN: That’s right…

REPORTER 2: The University is its own community and the community of Berkeley that live around it.

REAGAN: All of it began the first time some of you that know better and are old enough to know better, let young people think that they had the right to choose which laws to obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.

The video leaves out the part where the future president drops the mic, but you get the point. You don’t negotiate with violent protesters. You show them that their choices have consequences and make them pay the price for breaking the law.

Interestingly, back in February during the violent protests surrounding Milo, President Trump tweeted:

I’m not saying that President Trump is taking a cue from Reagan, but this tweet surely shows that he understands how to deal with these tyrants.

Will UC Berkeley take a stand against these violent protesters who seek to shut down any and all debate? Or will college administrators merely enable them further?

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


Terry Schilling

Terry Schilling is executive director of the American Principles Project.