Berkeley Reverses Decision: Will Let Conservative Pundit Ann Coulter Speak After All

Coulter called their bluff; ideological diversity won.

If you feel a little seasick over all the drama happening at the University of California at Berkeley lately, you're not alone.  On Wednesday, the administration said it was canceling conservative pundit Ann Coulter’s speech, claiming it could not figure out a way to provide proper security. TruthRevolt's Mark Tapson wrote about this unfair treatment:

Coulter has traveled the campus lecture circuit for years, often through the sponsorship and invitation of the Young America's Foundation (YAF), a national conservative organization. YAF told the Washington Examiner Wednesday that Berkeley Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell emailed the organizers to announce that his staff was unable to find a "safe and suitable venue" for the speech.

"Given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience, and bystanders could be adequately protected — at any of the campus venues," the email read.

Tapson summed it up nicely: "Since neither the Berkeley administration nor police will lift a finger to prevent or punish such thuggery, Ms. Coulter's safety cannot be guaranteed." Exactly. That made Coulter vow to come anyway, even though the university was putting ridiculous restrictions on her speech. Namely: her speech would be in the afternoon at a location that would be named right before she took to the podium. Also, only students would be allowed to hear her. Coulter agreed to the terms and imposed a couple of her own, according to Tapson:

1) That the University of California chancellor request that the Oakland chief of police refrain from telling his men to stand down and ignore law-breaking by rioters attempting to shut down conservative speakers, as he has done in the past; and

2) That UC-Berkeley announce in advance that any students engaging in violence, mayhem or heckling to prevent an invited speaker from speaking would be expelled. As Coulter explained, "If Berkeley wants to have free speech, it can have it." The university's response was to ban her speech.

By agreeing to their onerous demands, she vowed to give her speech anyway. "What are they going to do? Arrest me?" she asked.

On Thursday, however, the university said it had found a venue where it could hold the speech and properly maintain order (it wouldn't be on the original date of April 27th, but it would occur a few day later on May 2nd).

Looks like Coulter called their bluff.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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