A scheduled talk by Ann Coulter for April 27 was cancelled by UC Berkeley, citing safety concerns around protests to her very presence. On Twitter, Coulter insisted she would be giving her speech come hell-or-high-water. The university has now offered to have her at another date, but she is very unhappy with their proposal.
School officials offered Coulter a venue on May 2, to take place in the mid-afternoon. A spokesperson for Berkeley, Dan Mogulof, told The Washington Post that the talk on the 27th was scheduled for the evening, which led to concerns about overcrowding during rush hour and protests clogging the area until late into the night:
“Everything we’re doing is so the speaker and students can actually exercise their rights without disruption,” Mogulof said. “It’s hard to understand this display of disdain and disregard for the assessment of law enforcement professionals, particularly when their primary concern is the safety and well-being of college students.”
Disdain and disregard, you say? Mogulof is referring to Coulter’s refusal to consider the new date and her insistence that she is still showing up on April 27:
The New York Times reports that the school’s chancellor, Nicholas B. Dirks, has issued a statement that condemns Coulter’s plans, while also attempting to support her right to speak:
“Ms. Coulter’s announcement that she intends to come to this campus on April 27 without regard for the fact that we don’t have a protectable venue available on that date is of grave concern,” Mr. Dirks said in a statement. “At the same time, we respect and support Ms. Coulter’s own First Amendment rights.”
The university has refused to name the location of the venue until the last minute, which is one of Coulter’s complaints, for safety reasons. Violence broke out on campus in February when protestors shut down an event featuring far-right personality Milo Yiannopoulous, so fear of it happening again is not unreasonable. Officials say they were not even notified that the Berkeley College Republicans had even invited Coulter on campus until reading about it in the newspaper. Late on Thursday night, an attorney representing the student group threatened Berkeley with a lawsuit if they do not allow Coulter’s talk to continue as initially planned.
Coulter, however, is certain that all of the objections from Berkeley are simply attempts to shut her down. She appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight late Wednesday to allege that even before the university offered a new date they were burdening her with requirements:
Then she appeared on Sean Hannity’s program on Thursday night to add that she was unavailable for May 2, that Berkeley’s fears about violence were silly, and that the university should talk to local police about allowing these “Rodney King riots” to take place on campus:
This probably close to the most attention she’s gotten in years and I bet she’s having a blast.