UPDATED: Despite being canceled, Milo Yiannaopoulos still made an appearance at UC Berkeley to speak. According to the Associated Press, the outspoken right-wing activist addressed a few dozen supporters on campus while a larger crowd protested his appearance. Dressed in a denim jacket and an American flag hoodie, he led a crowd in a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” before the short event ended. See the video below.
EARLIER: UC Berkeley was set to be the location for “Free Speech Week” starting on September 24. Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Steve Bannon, Pamela Geller, and other alt-right figures were scheduled to speak, but today it was announced that the event has been canceled.
According to the UC Berkeley website, the student organization, Berkeley Patriot has decided “through its outside legal counsel” that they have canceled all events that taking place between September 24-27. The site doesn’t name “Free Speech Week,” but it does fall between those dates.
The announcement also states that “The situation is evolving and we will continue to provide information on our update website, especially about campus security measures. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Yiannopoulos posted the announcement on his Instagram on his Instagram account and said that “the students may have pulled out of Free Speech Week but I and my speakers have not.” In “an emergency Facebook Live press conference” he said that the event will go on “with or without student help.”
I've just been told that student group the Berkeley Patriot, under pressure from the administration, is withdrawing its sponsorship of Free Speech Week. The students may have pulled out of Free Speech Week but I and my speakers have not. We will release more information in an emergency Facebook Live press conference shortly.
On Friday, the campus was prepping for the event, which was guaranteed to stir up controversy. The website provided specific details and courses of actions for students which also included a “safe passage on campus.”
Earlier in the week, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ sent this message to the campus in regards to the event saying, “I want to first express my deep regret about the stress this is causing for many members of our campus community and the burden it is placing on people to continue their regular routines in the midst of what will cause a disruption here.” She added, “The ideas likely to be expressed by some of the speakers next week run counter to our Principles of Community, particularly the one that affirms the dignity of all individuals and encourages us to strive to uphold a just community where discrimination and hate are not tolerated.”
This is not the first time Yiannopoulos, who helped organize “Free Speech Week,” has caused controversy on the majority liberal campus of UC Berkeley. In February, he was scheduled to speak at the university but canceled ahead of his arrival due to violent protests. The same month, the former senior editor at Breitbart made a controversial appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher and was later accused of supporting pedophilia after comments he made on the Drunken Peasants podcast in 2016.