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Far-right to rally in Berkeley after Coulter talk canceled

08 May 2017

Several dozen police officers surrounded Sproul Plaza on the campus and refused to let protesters enter.

Berkeley police announced two arrests by 1 p.m; one person for carrying a knife on campus and another for obstructing or delaying a police officer, wearing a mask and giving false identification.

Coulter, one of America's best-known and most provocative pundits on the political right, said on Wednesday she no longer meant to defy university officials by speaking on campus without their permission. She was not spotted at the rally.

The University cites, as its reason for canceling the lecture, its "high-profile speakers" policy.

"On March 4 and April 15, left and right wing protestors skirmished in a nearby Berkeley park".

"It's sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech", tweeted Coulter on Wednesday.

He wore a helmet with a "Make America Great Again" sticker across the back, goggles, a gas mask and knee pads.

Later, supporters of Trump shouted "Build that wall!" while opponents chanted "No wall".

"L$3 ook man, she's right about the free speech thing, but here's my opinion", he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union's national legal director says "unacceptable threats of violence" that led to the cancellation of Ann Coulter's speech at the University of California, Berkeley are inconsistent with free speech principles that protect people from government overreach. There were anti-Trump demonstrators on the other side of the street. We are a divided country. "We do have a police force".

Coulter, one America's best-known and most polarizing pundits on the political right, cast blame on conservative student organizers who withdrew their invitation following their dispute with university officials.

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Officers took selfies with students in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Two weeks ago, 11 people were injured and 19 arrested after counter demonstrations by so-called alt-right conservatives supporting white nationalism and anti-fascist groups quickly turned ugly. "Free speech is about uncomfortable speech".

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter says her canceled speech at the University of California, Berkeley was simply going to say federal immigration law should be enforced.

On its Facebook page, the group calls itself a fraternal organization aimed at "reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism during an age of globalism and multiculturalism". But she remained coy about what she might do instead.

"They were hoping I would cancel", she said.

"I thought I might stroll around the graveyard of the First Amendment", Coulter said in an email.

This is the statement released by BridgeUSA at Berkeley, the group worked with the Berkeley College Republicans to organize Ann Coulter's appearance on campus.

Ann Coulter was nowhere to be found in Berkeley on Thursday, but hundreds of protesters showed up anyway.

The cancellation of Ms. Coulter's speech comes less than three months after rioters set fire to the campus in response to a scheduled lecture from conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor. According to a Chronicle reporter, university chancellor Nicholas Dirks said the university supports free speech but also must keep safety in mind.

"In effect, our free speech has been stifled because the university has decided not to assist us in making sure the event can occur successfully", Troy Worden, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, said in a press conference Wednesday.