A planned talk on immigration by right-wing author and commentator Ann Coulter at UC Berkeley was just canceled due to public safety concerns, according to the student newspaper, the Daily Californian.
Coulter had been invited to campus by two student groups, and was scheduled to appear at UC Berkeley on April 27.
“We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter,” vice chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton told the student groups co-hosting the event in an email, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The groups who planned to host Coulter are the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeUSA, with support from Young America’s Foundation. In a post on their website, YAF vowed that the Coulter talk would happen as planned. “This is as clear-cut a case as it gets that public universities are using taxpayer dollars to shut down conservative speech, while allowing liberal speech only,” the post reads.
USA TODAY College has reached out to the Berkeley College Republicans for comment.
Coulter says she will speak at Berkeley as planned. “They can’t stop me,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.
A talk by white nationalist Richard Spencer was canceled at Auburn University over similar concerns, but Spencer went to court and won the right to go on with his appearance as planned. He spoke there last night, amid protests that grew violent.
In February, in the wake of UC Berkeley canceling a talk by another right-wing firebrand, Milo Yiannopoulos, a protest grew into a riot. And just last weekend, a rally in the city of Berkeley grew violent. The Berkeley administrators cited these events in their email about the decision to cancel Coulter.
“We regret this outcome — especially given our unqualified support for our students’ right to bring speakers of their choosing to the University, and our deep commitment to the values and principles embedded in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” the email stated, according to the Daily Californian.