Ann Coul­ter’s UC Berke­ley speech back on

School resched­ules, but com­men­ta­tor in­sists she will still talk on orig­i­nal date.

Los Angeles Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Veron­ica Rocha and Jeff Landa

Cam­pus of­fi­cials, who had can­celed the com­men­ta­tor’s ap­pear­ance over safety con­cerns, re­verse their de­ci­sion.

UC Berke­ley of­fi­cials on Thurs­day re­versed their de­ci­sion to can­cel con­ser­va­tive com­men­ta­tor Ann Coul­ter’s ap­pear­ance at the univer­sity, but have resched­uled it from next week to May 2, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the univer­sity.

Coul­ter’s speech on im­mi­gra­tion will be held at an “ap­pro­pri­ate, pro­tectable venue,” the univer­sity said.

The univer­sity did not dis­close the lo­ca­tion of the speech. 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.

“We have an un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing for the safety and well-be­ing of speak­ers who come to cam­pus, our stu­dents and other mem­bers of our cam­pus and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties,” Chan­cel­lor Ni­cholas Dirks said in the

state­ment. “While there may, at times, be ten­sion be­tween th­ese paired com­mit­ments, we can­not com­pro­mise ei­ther.”

But Thurs­day evening, Coul­ter tweeted: “I’m speak­ing on April 27th, as I was in­vited to do and have a con­tract to do.”

She then tweeted that money has al­ready been spent on air­fare and ho­tels for her­self and her crew for the orig­i­nal date, adding that “there are no classes at Berke­ley the week of May 2.”

Ac­cord­ing to the 2017 UC Berke­ley aca­demic cal­en­dar, May 1-5 is des­ig­nated as a study and re­view week be­fore fi­nal ex­am­i­na­tions.

The re­ver­sal comes a day af­ter the univer­sity con­firmed that it had can­celed Coul­ter’s speech due to safety con­cerns fol­low­ing sev­eral vi­o­lent clashes be­tween right- and left-wing pro­test­ers in the fa­mously lib­eral city.

Coul­ter’s orig­i­nal ap­pear­ance was or­ga­nized by the con­ser­va­tive out­reach group Young Amer­ica’s Foun­da­tion, cam­pus po­lit­i­cal group BridgeUSA and the Berke­ley Col­lege Repub­li­cans.

On Wed­nes­day, UC Berke­ley spokesman Dan Mogulof said cam­pus po­lice feared that some of the same ex­trem­ist forces who caused prob­lems dur­ing re­cent clashes would be out in force when Coul­ter was on cam­pus.

Coul­ter at­tacked Berke­ley’s de­ci­sion in a se­ries of tweets, say­ing “no school ac­cept­ing pub­lic funds can ban free speech.”

Late Thurs­day, Harmeet K. Dhillon, a lawyer and the Repub­li­can Na­tional com­mit­tee­woman from Cal­i­for­nia, re­leased a let­ter sent to UC Berke­ley that in­di­cates a law­suit will be filed if the univer­sity does not al­low Coul­ter’s speech to go for­ward on April 27.

The let­ter says that the spon­sor­ing groups “metic­u­lously fol­lowed univer­sity pro­to­col” in set­ting up Coul­ter’s ap­pear­ance, and that ad­min­is­tra­tors’ “ac­tions vi­o­late fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of free speech, equal pro­tec­tion and due process guar­an­teed by the United States Con­sti­tu­tion.”

Dhillon writes that the univer­sity’s coun­terof­fer of May 2 was not good enough, in part be­cause it would be in the mid­dle of the day dur­ing a week when classes are not in ses­sion.

Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia of­fi­cials have of­ten been caught be­tween left-wing ac­tivists who have tried to shut down ap­pear­ances by con­ser­va­tive speak­ers and right-wing fig­ures who have crit­i­cized them for al­low­ing dis­rup­tive protests. Univer­sity ad­min­is­tra­tors have ar­gued that their cam­puses should be able to tol­er­ate the views of even far-right fig­ures. And some in Berke­ley charge that the most ex­treme pro­test­ers on both sides are out­siders pro­vok­ing vi­o­lence for their ends.

A Fe­bru­ary sched­uled ap­pear­ance at UC Berke­ley by con­ser­va­tive provo­ca­teur Milo Yiannopou­los was can­celed amid a vi­o­lent protest on the cam­pus. That sparked a na­tional de­bate — in which Pres­i­dent Trump took part — about the bal­ance be­tween the right to demon­strate and pro­tect­ing free speech that some find ob­jec­tion­able.

There have been two other clashes in the city of Berke­ley since then, in­clud­ing one Sat­ur­day in which 21 peo­ple were ar­rested.

In 2014, the cam­pus faced a nearly iden­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion when co­me­dian and TV host Bill Ma­her was in­vited to be the key­note speaker at the win­ter com­mence­ment cer­e­mony.

The Cal­i­for­ni­ans, a stu­dent group that helped or­ga­nize cam­pus events, in­vited Ma­her in Au­gust of that year but re­scinded the in­vi­ta­tion days af­ter a Change.org pe­ti­tion call­ing Ma­her a bigot for on-air re­marks about Mus­lims col­lected more than 1,500 sig­na­tures. Cam­pus of­fi­cials, how­ever, stood by the in­vi­ta­tion and al­lowed Ma­her to de­liver the key­note ad­dress.

Mark Davis WireImage

ANN COUL­TER says she will speak April 27, not May 2 as Berke­ley of­fi­cials an­nounced.

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