After Canceling Speech, Ann Coulter Calls Berkeley ‘A Radical Thuggish Institution’

J. Scott Applewhite

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter on Wednesday called the University of California at Berkeley a “radical thuggish institution” after she canceled a speech at the school originally scheduled for Thursday amid concerns about violence.

“It is a dark day for free speech in America,” Coulter tweeted. “It’s sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech.”

In fact, Coulter canceled the appearance after the conservative group backing her, Young America’s Foundation, dropped its efforts to secure a room for her speech. In a statement posted Tuesday on its website, the group cited concerns about “leftist thugs who have terrorized Berkeley’s campus.”

“Ms. Coulter may still choose to speak in some form on campus, but Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students,” the group said.

In February, UC Berkeley canceled an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos, then an editor at Breitbart News, after protesters started fires, threw Molotov cocktails, pushed metal barricades into windows and threw rocks and fireworks at police, per a statement by the school.

At least 20 people were arrested earlier in April after violence broke out between rallies for and against President Donald Trump in downtown Berkeley.

“There’s nothing more I can do,” Coulter said in an email to Fox News on Wednesday. “I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team.”

Administrators at the school canceled Coulter’s appearance last week, saying they were “unable to find a safe and suitable venue” for the event.

A day later, Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks reversed that decision and proposed to reschedule Coulter’s speech to May 2. She rejected that offer.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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