Trump sup­port­ers hold free speech rally, read Coulter’s re­marks.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

Trump sup­port­ers de­scended upon the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley on Thurs­day to reaf­firm the prin­ci­ples of free speech and ro­bust de­bate af­ter the school can­celed a sched­uled lec­ture by con­ser­va­tive au­thor Ann Coulter.

Cana­dian con­trar­i­ans Gavin McInnes and Lauren South­ern head­lined a free speech rally at MLK Park and read an ex­cerpt from Ms. Coulter’s planned speech in her stead.

“They may be able to stop us from speak­ing on the cam­pus, they may be able to throw punches, to spray pep­per spray, throw bricks at us, but they can’t stop an idea,” Ms. South­ern said. “They can’t stop the his­tory of this nation and the de­ter­mi­na­tion to de­fend free speech and pro­tect God-given rights.”

Berke­ley of­fi­cials can­celed Ms. Coulter’s speech last week cit­ing se­cu­rity con­cerns and the pos­si­bil­ity of vi­o­lence, but quickly re­versed course af­ter a back­lash en­sued.

De­spite the univer­sity’s as­sur­ance that she was wel­come, Ms. Coulter said she had to can­cel the speech Wed­nes­day af­ter los­ing the back­ing of the stu­dent group that in­vited her, Young Amer­i­cans for Free­dom.

The free speech rally was mostly peace­ful, with pro­test­ers and heck­lers only sparsely pop­u­lated in the sur­round­ing area.

Among the hun­dreds of at­ten­dees were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Oath Keep­ers and Bik­ers for Trump, who said they were there to en­sure the event re­mained peace­ful. Many of the par­tic­i­pants were clad in black and wore mo­tor­cy­cle hel­mets.

The ex­cerpt from Ms. Coulter’s speech ar­gued against ac­cept­ing Mus­lim im­mi­grants and those in need of gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance.

“When Trump merely pro­posed we stop im­port­ing peo­ple whose re­li­gion teaches them to kill us, the me­dia called him a racist,” Mr. McInnes read. “Repub­li­cans said that’s not who we are. They know us so well. There are 7 bil­lion peo­ple in the world; we don’t have to take any of them. There’s no con­sti­tu­tional right for the rest of the world to move here.

“Im­mi­grants are show­ing up with a lot of needs and a lot of griev­ances,” he con­tin­ued. “Why do we owe them? If you have griev­ances, go home and ad­dress the per­pe­tra­tors. We owe you noth­ing. By my reck­on­ing, they owe us.”

Mr. McInnes echoed those sen­ti­ments in his own re­marks, ask­ing why “Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, Amer­i­can im­mi­grants and Amer­i­can mil­len­ni­als” aren’t more grate­ful to live in Amer­ica.

“As an im­mi­grant my­self, I gotta say, I’m kind of shocked to get here and see the num­ber of in­grates both within my fel­low im­mi­grant com­mu­nity and within the Amer­i­can cit­i­zen com­mu­nity,” he said.

He also noted that speak­ers who hold con­tro­ver­sial lib­eral opin­ions have been al­lowed to speak on col­lege cam­puses with­out the threat of vi­o­lence.

“You have Linda Sar­sour giv­ing a speech at CUNY,” he said, re­fer­ring to the co-chair of the Day With­out a Woman Protest. “No prob­lem with that. This is a woman who sup­ports Shariah law. This is a law where women have half the vote of men, a hus­band can rape his wife, a man can beat his wife.”

The can­cel­la­tion of Ms. Coulter’s speech comes less than three months af­ter ri­ot­ers set fire to the cam­pus in re­sponse to a sched­uled lec­ture from con­ser­va­tive provo­ca­teur Milo Yiannopou­los, a for­mer Bre­it­bart ed­i­tor.

Young Amer­i­cans for Free­dom and the Berke­ley Col­lege Repub­li­cans filed a law­suit against the univer­sity, ar­gu­ing the school failed to ac­com­mo­date the club with a safe venue for the speech, giv­ing them no choice but to can­cel it.

“In ef­fect, our free speech has been sti­fled be­cause the univer­sity has de­cided not to as­sist us in mak­ing sure the event can oc­cur suc­cess­fully,” Troy Wor­den, pres­i­dent of the Berke­ley Col­lege Repub­li­cans, said in a press con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day. “We aren’t go­ing to have a dan­ger­ous event.”

For his part, Mr. Yiannopou­los has vowed to re­turn to Berke­ley in the fall for a whole week.

“My pro­posed Free Speech Week will pro­ceed as planned later this year,” he said Wed­nes­day on Face­book, break­ing out into all cap­i­tal letters to de­clare: “I will bring an army if I have to.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Demon­stra­tors hold signs and flags Thurs­day in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia. They gath­ered near the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley cam­pus amid a strong po­lice pres­ence and ral­lied to show sup­port for free speech.

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