UPDATE: Coulter spoke out on Twitter.
I’m so sorry Berkeley canceled my speech. I’m so sorry YAF acquiesced in the cancelation. And I'm so sorry for free speech crushed by thugs.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
I’m so sorry Berkeley had a different story every 20 minutes, which always was: No speech.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
If we had continued to fight we would have won.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
I’m very sad about Berkeley's cancelation, but my sadness is greater than that. It is a dark day for free speech in America.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
It’s sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
I am so grateful to people like Bill Maher, Chris Matthews and Margaret Carlson for opposing Berkeley’s censorship.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has canceled her speech at UC Berkeley due to fears that the police could not ensure her safety. Coulter's planned speech had been marred in controversy since its inception; first, the university canceled the planned speech, then the Young America's Foundation (who organized the event) filed suit against the university.
Despite this, Coulter still initially had plans to speak at the university on Thursday as initially scheduled.
On Tuesday, YAF said that they were concerned about the safety of both Coulter and any attendees of the event. The organization said that Berkeley had failed to meet their demands for event security, among other things.
In order to ensure safety of those involved and for the lecture to go forward, Young America’s Foundation requested that Berkeley adhere to the following equal access terms for the event:
- Central location on the main campus
- Room holding hundreds of participants
- Afternoon/early evening timing
- Ability to publicize event
- University to announce that there will be zero tolerance at the event itself for masked agitators, disruption of the event; and sufficient security to ensure the safety of attendees; space for protest to be cordoned a reasonable and constitutionally permissible distance from event
- University to confirm that it has communicated the event details to Berkeley City Police, and are coordinating security with them to ensure that any rioters/violent protestors/masked disruptors are appropriately contained and dealt with
As of 4:00 p.m. today [Tuesday], UC-Berkeley failed to meet our demands, after refusing to provide a proper venue for six weeks. Berkeley made it impossible to hold a lecture due to the lack of assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators.
Berkeley should be ashamed for creating this hostile atmosphere.
YAF has said that it intends to "press forward" with the suit.
Coulter has been speaking on college campuses since at least the early 2000s, largely without major incident.
This piece has been updated with additional information.