UC Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, has stabbed free speech in the back once again.
Last week it effectively canceled a long planned speech by David Horowitz. Today it canceled a long planned speech by Ann Coulter scheduled for April 27.
As they did with Horowitz, UC officials, citing safety concerns, first tried to bureaucratically shrink the Coulter speech out of existence by informing Young Americans for Freedom, sponsors of the event, that Coulter could speak only in the afternoon when students were in classes; that only students could attend; and, in a Kafkaesque twist, that the location of the speech would be distant from the center of campus and not be announced until just before it occurred.
Coulter agreed to these conditions. But she added two stipulations that called the bureaucrats’ bluff that this was about public safety rather than the suppression of the free speech of conservatives. She asked that the Chancellor not require police to stand down in the face of anticipated violence by thugs, as he has in the past; and she asked that the UC administration make it clear than any student trying violently to disrupt the speech would be expelled.
The University replied by cancelling Coulter’s speech outright.
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