Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter has canceled her planned address at the University of California, Berkeley, amid threats of violence, according to multiple reports.
Coulter told Fox News “there will be no speech,” with the author and commentator citing security concerns. In a separate interview with The New York Times she proclaimed that “it’s a sad day for free speech.”
But while Coulter said she won’t be speaking, there’s a small twist in that she’ll still be heading to Berkeley, though it is unclear if she will simply visit the city or, more specifically, the campus itself.
“I think I’m still going to Berkeley, but there will be no speech,” she said.
As Faithwire previously reported, a major hoopla over Coulter’s planned visit to the school kicked off after Berkeley College Republicans invited her for a April 27 event, but were told by school officials that they would need to reschedule the address over fears her speech would incite violence and endanger security.
So, the school agreed to reschedule the event for May 2 at a time earlier in the day when there was a lesser chance of a violent reaction to her presence. That, however, didn’t go over too well with the conservative groups on campus.
The Berkeley College Republicans — the event organizer — and the Young America’s Foundation — the group helping to fund the event — responded by filing a civil rights lawsuit against the public college, claiming that the school discriminated against them and violated their free speech rights.
They initially sought a fine over the school’s decision to postpone Coulter’s planned April 27 speech as well as damages for the organizers of the event, Reuters reported.
Coulter had up until Wednesday pledged to show up on April 27 to speak anyway, but as The New York Times reported, Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans soon rescinded support for the event, citing concerns over the safety of staff and students after repeated warnings from university staff and police that violence could indeed erupt.
In the end, Coulter told The New York Times that she felt she had little recourse but to cancel the speaking engagement.
“Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away,” Coulter proclaimed.
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