Berkeley Cancels Speech by Ann Coulter, Citing Possibility of Rioting

Citing security concerns, administrators at the University of California at Berkeley have canceled a planned speech by the right-wing commentator Ann Coulter.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that vice chancellors at the university emailed the student groups hosting the event on Tuesday night with the news of the canceled event.

“We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter,” they wrote.

Ms. Coulter is a popular author and right-wing speaker known for her hard-line views on immigration and other social issues. She told The Hollywood Reporter she planned to speak at the campus regardless of the cancellation.

“Yes, it was officially banned,” Ms. Coulter told the publication. “But they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights.”

The newspaper reported that the event’s organizers — the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeUSA — say the university’s decision to cancel the talk is comparable to “unconstitutional prior restraint.” And the head of BridgeUSA, Pranav Jandhyala, told the student newspaper The Daily Californian that he still wants the event to take place on its planned date.

“If an event is going to be canceled because the content of someone’s speech is too inflammatory, that’s disappointing to me and to my organization,” he told the student publication.

Over the weekend, Berkeley saw fights erupt between supporters of President Trump and counterprotesters that left many hospitalized and others arrested. And in February, the campus saw protests over the far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos turn violent.

The move to cancel Ms. Coulter’s speech also follows a failed attempt earlier this week to stop a speech by the white supremacist Richard Spencer at Auburn University.

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