Ann Coulter speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Photo via gageskidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Ann Coulter is speaking at Berkeley whether the school likes it or not

Officials insist the cancellation isn’t a free speech issue.


Samantha Grasso

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Conservative personality Ann Coulter isn’t backing down from her planned speech at University of California at Berkeley next week, even though the school announced it has canceled her event.

Speaking to Tucker Carlson during his Fox News show, Coulter insisted that Berkeley’s change of plans aren’t affecting her own to appear on campus, saying, “I am giving the speech. I don’t know, what are they going to do? Arrest me?”

On Wednesday, Berkeley announced in a letter to the Republican student group that booked her, Young America’s Foundation, that the school had canceled Coulter’s event. The university cited the potential for violent protests, such as the response to former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos‘ announced-then-canceled speech in February. President Donald Trump threatened to pull federal funding as a result.

According to Coulter, the university kept setting appearance requirements in order to prevent her from speaking, such as that her talk can only be held during the daytime, that only students are allowed to attend, and that the venue will be announced last minute. Though the foundation told Coulter that the guidelines were unfair, Coulter agreed to all of them in order to speak. Her speech topic centered on immigration.

Coulter told the Washington Post in an email that she thinks her speech has been “unconstitutionally banned” by the “public, taxpayer-supported UC-Berkeley.” Coulter responded to the cancellation by reaching out to Young America’s Foundation and has not been in direct contact with the school.

A spokesperson for the university, however, said the cancellation has nothing to do with Coulter’s views and was compounded by the foundation’s lack of communication with the school.

In its letter, Berkeley officials partially blamed Young America’s Foundation for inviting Coulter and setting a date without consulting them first. They wrote that when they learned of the event through newspaper coverage, they reached out to university police, who said they could not find a venue available for the date that would allow them to protect Coulter, audience members, and bystanders. Officials hope to reschedule the event for September.

“Everything we’re doing is so the speaker and students can actually exercise their rights without disruption,” Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told the Post. “It’s unfortunate that there are people who think the university’s efforts to keep students and the speaker herself safe are ‘silly.’”

H/T the Washington Post

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