Published: Sat, February 04, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Violent Protests Break Out UC Berkeley


Yiannopoulos said on Facebook he was evacuated "after violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building". "They were part of a, kind of, a group that were organized and ready to create the kind of tumult and danger that forced the police to cancel the event".

He is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a self-proclaimed internet troll whose comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist and anti-Muslim. The university has stressed it did not invite him and does not endorse his ideas but is committed to free speech and rejected calls to cancel the event. The best (and possibly last) defense for Americans will be the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. That is what Mayor Arreguin did when he characterized Yiannopoulos as a bigot who engages in hate speech and isn't welcome at Berkeley just prior to his event.

Yiannopoulos, who is gay, visited campus as part of his "Dangerous Faggot Tour".

"We won't put up with the violent rhetoric of Milo, Trump, or the fascistic alt-right", said a Berkeley history student who was carrying the "Queers bash back" banner.

"We shut down the event", one protester told CNN.

On January 31, one day before the scheduled speech, Yiannopoulos opened up applications for The Privilege Grant, a scholarship started by the Breitbart editor "available exclusively to white men" who want to go to college "on equal footing with their female, queer and ethnic minority classmates".

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"The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest", U.C. Berkeley said in a statement. You know, again, I saw these people. UC Berkeley is the birthplace of the free-speech movement and has been known for more than a half-century as a bastion of tolerance.

Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said that he condemned vigorously all the attacks suffered by the College last Wednesday.

After students left the campus after 8:00 p.m., a group of about 200 people continued march through Berkeley, a city northeast of San Francisco, in Northern California.

Critics of Yiannopoulous' cancellation pointed to Berkeley's decision to allow Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to speak on campus in 2012, a move that also sparked protests but was defended by UC President Mark Yudof.

At Mediaite, Alex Griswold reports that former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is on the case of the Berkeley riots that prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus this past Wednesday evening. A man was shot outside a scheduled Yiannopoulos event at the University of Washington on January 21. His final stop was supposed to be UCLA on Thursday but the invitation was rescinded, making Berkeley his grand finale.

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