With yet another conservative speaker drawing outrage on the UC Berkeley campus, police and university leaders managed to bring in extra security and a police presence that largely kept the crowds at bay.
According to police, more than 1,000 people showed up on Thursday evening, but there were no reported injuries due to violence and no reports of any property damage. Nine people were arrested, police said.
"No regrets with assembling the forces we did," said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. "It certainly didn't hurt, deterring those who came with malicious intent."
Outside of the event, scores of protesters showed up, including a small group of Refuse Fascism activists. Some demonstrators staged a sit-in at the campus student union.
Inside Zellerbach Hall, conservative commentator and former Breitbart News editor Ben Shapiro expounded on his political viewpoints for nearly two hours, and even took questions.
More than 600 audience members applauded and cheered as Shapiro made controversial statements about immigration, abortion and affirmative action.
"He’s able to eloquently portray things that many conservative feel inside," said Jeff Faulk, from Livermore. "He’s able to really give us a voice."
In his speech, Shapiro thanked the city of Berkeley and the school for letting him speak. But, he did take a dig at the extra security measures.
"I only wish the administration would have allowed us to fill up the rest of these seats," Shapiro said, to cheers. "We certainly would have."
To the protestors outside calling him a white supremacist, he said they’re simply wrong.
"We are all individuals. I am an individual with a particular point of view," he said. "I am not a cardboard cutout for you to call a white supremacist. I am not a cardboard cutout for you to call a Nazi. And neither is anyone else in this room."
The campus is gearing up for possible speaking engagements from other conservative firebrands in two weeks, including former Breitbart contributor Milo Yiannopoulos, author Ann Coulter and former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
The last time Yiannopoulos came to UC Berkeley, his scheduled remarks were canceled after violent protests erupted on campus.
For Shapiro's speech on Thursday, campus officials estimate they spent $600,000 on extra security.
When asked if the university will spend as much money and bring in as much security for future speeches, Mogoluf said, "We really have to take this a step at a time."