WASHINGTON – Annpocalypse is coming to Berkeley.
Ann Coulter told WND that not only is she taking U.C. Berkeley to court, she is vowing to speak on the campus with or without its sanction.
“We’re suing!” Coulter told WND after her attorney’s deadline passed on Friday without a response from the university.
WND asked, does that mean you are trying to get an emergency injunction to force the university to host your event?
“Yes!” she replied.
And are you still planning to show up on Thursday and speak, no matter what?
“Yes! But Berkeley won’t give me a building so I’ll use a bullhorn,” Coulter declared.
A law firm representing the groups sponsoring her planned event is filing the suit, after its deadline of 5:00 p.m. PT on Friday passed without the university agreeing to live up to its agreement to let Coulter give a speech on campus.
The best-selling author is determined to give the home of the “free speech movement” a lesson in the First Amendment by making it live up to its self-proclaimed moniker. She has insisted to WND all week that she would show up to speak because it is her constitutional right.
And WND is planning to be there to provide a first-hand account of what is shaping up as a historic event.
“I AM speaking,” a livid Coulter vowed in an email to WND earlier this week, just after the university unilaterally announced it was cancelling her speech.
“THEY’VE CANCELED — ALTHOUGH I MET EVERY ONE OF THEIR SILLY DEMANDS. I’M STILL SPEAKING,” she wrote in all capital letters, to illustrate her fury.
There’s no telling what may happen between now and Thursday. But Coulter has vowed to show up at 2:00 p.m. PT on April 27, to give a speech on immigration, then take questions from students.
That is the time and place the university agreed to earlier this week before the best-selling author’s quest to bring her conservative message to the heart of liberalism began turning into an epic saga with many twists and turns.
- First, her speech was scheduled for 7:30 on Thursday.
- Then the university made a series of demands, including moving the time to 2:00 p.m.
- Coulter agreed to all the terms.
- Then the university abruptly cancelled the event, citing safety concerns, namely, a fear of riots.
- After facing a deluge of criticism, the university unilaterally announced it would reschedule the event for May 2.
- Coulter was having none of that, and an attorney representing the groups sponsoring her appearance issued an ultimatum to the university to abide by its initial agreement to host the speech on April 27 or face a lawsuit.
- 5:00 p.m. PT on Friday was the deadline for the University of California to respond to the demand from the law firm that the university allow Coulter to speak as scheduled.
- That deadline passed without a response from the university but Coulter vowed to press on.
- Coulter announced her intention to both file suit and show up, anyway.
The best-selling conservative author was invited to speak on the famously left-wing campus by the student groups Berkeley College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom, or YAF.
Coulter shared with WND a letter sent to YAF from the university’s Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton explaining the cancellation.
“This letter from Berkeley is an outrage,” Coulter told WND. “There’s no legitimate reason why they would need to delay my speech by five months(!) and then only allow it during daylight hours, when students are in classes.”
“Giving 4 weeks advance notice — as they suddenly demand — gives the violent opposition time to organize and virtually guarantees a speech will shut down. The way to safely give a speech I think is more like 4 hours notice.”
The university has claimed it is not trying to stifle free speech, but that it couldn’t guarantee Coulter’s safety.
On his Washington-based and nationally syndicated radio talk show Friday, host Chris Plante likened that to extortion by the mob.
“It’s like mafia extortion, when guys with flat noses and cauliflowered ears, brain-damaged, come into your restaurant and inform you that you’re now going to get your linens from them, and you’re going to get your juke box from them, and you’re gonna buy your beverage services from them, because if you don’t, well, there might be violence.
“Violence from whom? Well, violence from them, of course,” deadpanned Plante.
He played a soundbite of University of California Chancellor Nicholas Dirks blaming Coulter for disregarding the university’s claim that it could not provide a “protectable” venue for her on April 27.
“Protectable from whom? Are the Visigoths coming? Is ISIS on the march?” mockingly wondered Plante.
He scorched the university for proclaiming it needed more time to ensure safety.
“Safe? Safe from whom? Safe from the monster created by the chancellor of U.C. Berkeley and his fellow travelers. The beast in the street that’s off the chain. Loose in the streets because these lunatics at Berekeley and elsewhere like-minded, if you can call it that, universities and campuses across the country have created this monster and now it’s loose.”
Plante described those who would protest and threaten Coulter as a veritable version of an American ISIS, trying to shut down opposing opinions by force. And he described the violent mob as a creation of the university.
“You see, they created this ghoul. This Frankenstein’s monster. A murderous, greedy, insane, irrational, violent mob. The Black Bloc. With their balaclavas. And their weapons. And their hoodies. Their uniforms. Their black uniforms, like the Italian fascists, appropriately.”
“And they are so dangerous,” Plante concluded, “and so violent, and have been established as such, that they are gravely concerned that there may be people killed by the left because a 12-time New York Times bestselling author might deliver a speech.”
U.C. Berkeley became famous as the home of the Free Speech Movement in the 1964–65 academic year. But the bastion of leftism has seen its reputation for free speech severely tarnished in recent weeks.
- Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous canceled an appearance and had to flee for his safety in February after protesters rioted, causing several injuries, outside the event site.
- An appearance by conservative writer David Horowitz was canceled last week because university police told a campus Republican group it could not ensure security.
- 21 people were arrested over the weekend as hundreds of leftists attacked supporters of President Trump holding a rally.
During the February 2, melee that forced Yiannopolous to cancel his event, rioters beat up Trump supporters, pepper-sprayed bystanders, looted a Starbucks, smashed bank windows and ATMs, and spray-painted “Kill Trump” on storefronts.
President Trump responded with a tweet threatening to turn off the federal money cash flow to the university.
That’s no small threat. Last year, U.C. Berkeley received more than half of its research funding from the federal government.
The $370 million the government gave the university amounted to 55 percent of its $673.9 million dollar research budget.
After getting increasing resistance from the university over her concerns, on Wednesday Coulter shared with WND this letter she sent to YAF Tuesday, in which her growing frustration with the university’s intransigence is apparent.
It is an inside look at her concerns as well as her attempts to get the university to ensure the safety of it’s own students, and allow for the free exchange of ideas:
Instead of quibbling over the little stuff, let’s get something big in return. All of us are presumably working toward the same end.
We all know what’s being planned and failure to take the following 2 basic steps is PROOF that they have no intention of ever allowing conservative speakers on the Berkeley campus.
A) The no. 1 important issue is that the local police chief has repeatedly ordered his men to stand down whenever a conservative speaker shows up on campus, letting the rioters shut it down. (University of California President) Janet Napolitano has got to have a chat with the local police chief. It’s shocking and shameful how he has ordered his men to DO NOTHING. Do not tell me the chancellor of the California university system does not have to power to change his mind!!!
B) Berkeley needs to announce in advance that any students caught rioting, fighting, throwing things, heckling or otherwise disrupting invited speakers, will be expelled. Again, I AGREE WITH THEM that this is not students rioting, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Will the school be providing metal detectors? We are going to need help with big guys at the doors checking student IDs. If we agree to their plan of a 2pm speech and their idea of students only (plus my friends), then they ought to be helping us with this. IF THEY WANT FREE SPEECH TO BE ALLOWED AT BERKELEY THEY HAVE THE POWER TO DO SO.