A planned appearance at UC Berkeley by far-right pundit and self-described "polemicist" Ann Coulter has been cancelled. Last month, Coulter was invited to speak at the university by campus Republican, with the vast majority of her $20,000 speaking fees to be paid by the national Young Americans Foundation. But rather than wait until the planned evening of April 27 to cancel the speech after an inevitable protest and counter-protest ad infinitum, such as the scene that awaited Milo Yiannopoulos' planned, then canceled February appearance on campus, representatives of the university told the student groups the event was off for safety reasons clearly in light of the battle royale that took place in the city over an alt-right rally on Saturday. Berkeley could not find a safe and suitable venue for the appearance, the Chronicle reports.
"We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter," Berkeley vice chancellors told would-be event co-hosts the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeUSA. The cancelled engagement follows scenes of violence and 20 arrests in the liberal city this past weekend at a pro-Trump march, which was met with a counter-rally.
Berkeley spokesperson Dan Moguluf tells the Washington Post that the speech has been cancelled purely for the purposes of safety and without regard for ideology. "Everything we’re doing is so the speaker and students can actually exercise their rights without disruption," Mogulof reportedly said. "It’s unfortunate that there are people who think the university’s efforts to keep students and the speaker herself safe are ‘silly.’”
After the now-disgraced Yiannopoulos's Berkeley speech was cancelled, conservatives cried foul, accusing the liberal-leaning, Free Speech Movement nexus of silencing free speech. President Trump Tweeted vaguely, as his wont, that he could pull school's funding — "NO FEDERAL FUNDS?" he wrote.
Now Coulter is picking up that rhetoric: The conservative commentator is engaging in a minor melting down on Twitter, initially insisting that the cancellation was "FAKE NEWS."
If I were going to Berkeley to get an abortion, this would be a national scandal - https://t.co/EQsiAEWPpW— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 19, 2017
I acceded to Berkeley's every silly demand (never made of lib speakers). Called their bluff & they canceled anyway. https://t.co/EQsiAEWPpW— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 19, 2017
"Yes, it was officially banned," Coulter confirmed to the apparently real news to The Hollywood Reporter. "But they can't stop me. I'm an American. I have constitutional rights."
These are rights that Coulter apparently understands to include speaking at Berkeley for $20,000.