UC Berkeley flip-flops on Ann Coulter, proposes May date

FilmMagicAnn Coulter

On Thursday, The University of California, Berkeley reversed its decision to cancel a speech by conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

The bestselling author revealed to Reuters on Thursday that she still planned to speak at Berkeley on April 27, despite the university announcing they had picked a new date for the event: May 2.

But Coulter told her 1.47 million Twitter followers not to "fall" for Berkeley's version of events.

"I'm speaking at Berkeley on April 27th, as I was invited to do and have a contract to do", Coulter tweeted.

She earlier had threatened to show up and speak on April 27 despite the university's decision.

But Coulter remained defiant and proclaimed over social media that she still intends to show up for the original timeslot.

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Conservatives have pointed to a growing restriction of free speech on liberal-leaning college campuses. She said she had already spent money to hold the event on the original April 27 date and is not available May 2. UC Berkeley officials say they were unable to find "a safe and suitable" venue for the right-wing provocateur, whom campus Republicans had invited to speak.

"What we're struggling to understand is the level of disdain and disregard for recommendations from law enforcement when it is clear their primary focus is on the safety of college students", Mogulof said. "If the threat is, she's not unpopular and we expect there to be protesters and therefore we are not going to allow the speech, that's not acceptable". Ann Coulter and the Republican group don't like the new date because it is during dead week, when students don't have classes so they can study for finals, saying no one will be here, they may as well have her speak in the middle of the night. "If UC Berkeley continues to insist on violating the constitutional rights of its students and our clients by marginalizing or banning Ms. Coulter's speech, we will seek relief in federal court, including claims for injunctive relief and damages". In a letter to Berkeley Campus Republicans, administrators said the school was taking extra precautions after Yiannopoulos' appearance as well as recent riots in the city of Berkeley.

On Saturday, the police arrested more than 20 people during a violent encounter.

"We also have an unwavering commitment to providing for the safety and well-being of speakers who come to campus, our students, and other members of our campus and surrounding communities", Dirks said in his statement.

Berkeley has been the site of clashes between far-right and far-left protesters, most recently at a rally last weekend called in support of President Donald Trump in downtown Berkeley.

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