UC Berkeley has canceled Ann Coulter’s planned talk on April 27 because it cannot guarantee the safety of the right-wing commentator or the safety of attendees or those protesting her appearance.
Scott Biddy, the vice chancellor, and Stephen Sutton, the vice chancellor for student affairs, sent an email Tuesday night to the Berkeley College Republicans telling them of the decision. However, they said UC is committed to working with the College Republicans to bring Coulter to speak in September when arrangements can be made for her to speak in an appropriate venue.
Concerns about what would happen at Coulter’s talk escalated after right-wing and left-wing activists converged on Berkeley on April 15 and battled in the streets. Pro-Trump supporters, white supremacists and pro-gun activists clashed with Antifa demonstrators who came to shut them down. The Antifa initiated the violence, spraying pepper spray and throwing projectiles, according to a memo by Police Chief Andrew Greenwood. However, those on the opposite side fought back with fists and sticks and other methods.
“Did UCPD’s concerns grow in the wake of what happened Saturday?” said Dan Mogulof, a university spokesman. “Absolutely.”
That concern was augmented when UC police learned that “some of the groups that appear to be responsible for the violence over the past weekend, as well as in and around the campus on the night of Feb. 1, planned to target the appearance of Ann Coulter on campus. Last week posters threatening disruption of the event appeared on the walls of campus buildings.”