At Berkeley, the damage to free speech not easily undone

At Berkeley, the damage to free speech not easily undone

At Berkeley, the damage to free speech not easily undone

Violence broke out ahead of the speech by conservative commentator Yiannopoulos at the campus with protesters setting fires, destroying property and attacking supporters of the gay Breitbart News editor and President Donald Trump, who threatened to cut off federal funds to school.

While the night after seemed peaceful, there was still tension on the Cal campus in the aftermath of Wednesday night's violent protests.

"The strategy deployed by the police was not my decision, but the decision of the department based on professional judgment of the police department", he said in a statement. "Again, I saw these people".

"We encourage our young people to get involved-I thought it was a attractive site", Demings said.

In an interview with Fox News afterward, Yiannopoulos blamed the violence on "the left that is terrified of anyone who they think might be persuasive or might be interesting or might take people with them".

Jenny Luna, of Mother Jones, captioned a photo she posted on Twitter: "SWAT team stands in Berkeley campus cafe, watching protesters of Milo Yiannopoulos gather in the main plaza". It's also true that one can protest at a speaker's appearance without trying to shout him down.

"All we have to go on now is another angry tweet", said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Democrat from the Los Angeles suburb of Paramount.

Mayor Arreguin says the way police have responded to large protests has changed over the years. "That does not reflect Berkeley".

Yiannopoulos has been very polemic over the last months as he has talked very provocatively about Muslim people, the Black Lives Matter movement and feminists in general. Yiannopoulos - who was permanently banned from Twitter in July for his racist trolling - has achieved a level of fame (infamy) for his indictments of political correctness, criticism of feminism (he calls it a "cancer"), and has compared the head of Planned Parenthood to "Hitler". With the safety of students and Yiannopoulos himself as their prime directive, the police commanders on scene decided "we'll trade a few broken windows for that", as university spokesman Dan Mogulof told me.

"I wouldn't bet against it, Don", Reich said.

However, preventing him from speaking to those who wish to hear him is a greater violation of the liberal principle of free speech. It was puzzling. Although educational institutions' receipt of federal funds could hypothetically be conditioned on compliance with the Constitution - the way it is conditioned, for example, on compliance with federal civil rights laws - no such law now exists. "It's not the views I believe in". "There should have been some serious consideration about whether he should have been invited to begin with, given the fact that he's provoked a violent response on other campuses".

As some on campus returned to laid back college life, tempers flared at the same spot where the free speech movement was born in the 1960s.

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