Stu­dent group must pay for ‘Speech Week’

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - NATION - By John King John King is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: jk­ing@sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @johnk­ings­fchron

The stu­dent group seek­ing to hold a four­day se­ries of con­ser­va­tive speak­ers and provo­ca­teurs at UC Berkeley has failed to pay re­quired de­posits, univer­sity of­fi­cials said Saturday.

Al­though the Berkeley Pa­triot stu­dent or­ga­ni­za­tion turned in a con­tract late Fri­day af­ter­noon, af­ter miss­ing two ear­lier dead­lines, it did not in­clude money to rent the fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to a cam­pus spokesman.

“At the very last minute they signed the con­tract, but the con­tract made clear they would also pro­vide pay­ment,” said Dan Mogulof, who heads UC Berkeley’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fice. That did not oc­cur.

This doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily scut­tle the event.

“To be clear, Berkeley Pa­triot may still con­tinue with plan­ning its ‘Free Speech Week’ if it is able to con­firm its speak­ers, con­firm its sched­ules, and com­ply with ... se­cu­rity re­quire­ments,” Mogulof said in a state­ment Saturday af­ter­noon. At the same time, he wrote, “The Univer­sity can­not de­fend spend­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to pro­vide se­cu­rity ar­range­ments for events based on a press re­lease and in­con­sis­tent sched­ules.”

What’s billed as “Berkeley Free Speech Week” is sched­uled for Sept. 24-27, with a re­ported ros­ter of speak­ers that in­cludes Milo Yiannopou­los, Ann Coul­ter and Steve Ban­non.

The lat­ter was in­stru­men­tal in the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Trump and was a top ad­viser in the White House un­til last month, when he re­signed to re­turn to the con­ser­va­tive Bre­it­bart web­site. Coul­ter is the au­thor of such books as “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awe­some!” As for Yiannopou­los, his planned ap­pear­ance at UC Berkeley in Fe­bru­ary sparked a riot.

Yiannopou­los has since pack­aged him­self as Milo Inc. His web­site touts him as a “flam­boy­antly gay Brit ... hated by every­one from fem­i­nists to is­lamists,” with a “take-no-pris­on­ers ap­proach to the cul­ture war.”

In an in­ter­view with The Chron­i­cle this month, Yiannopou­los boasted that one day’s fo­cus would be fem­i­nism, where “speak­ers will be telling women what they’ve been do­ing wrong.”

As for con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions at that time, “They’re try­ing to make us pay $100,000 in se­cu­rity de­posits,” Yiannopou­los said. “We’ll ne­go­ti­ate it down as best we can.”

On Saturday, Mogulof said he did not know the amount of money be­ing re­quested to rent — and help pay for se­cu­rity at — Zeller­bach Hall and Wheeler Au­di­to­rium.

As for Yiannopou­los’ pro­nounce­ments about the events, “We pro­vide venues to stu­dent or­ga­ni­za­tions,” Mogulof said. “Berkeley Pa­triot’s re­la­tion with Milo Inc. is their busi­ness.”

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