Ann Coulter’s speech that was supposed to have been delivered at UC Berkeley Thursday night was canceled (allegedly for safety reasons), rescheduled by the school once a “protected venue” was found, and then canceled again, but protesters are already descending on the city.
Some banks in town, remembering what happened when rioters marched through the city after forcing the cancellation of a speech on campus by Milo Yiannopoulos, prepared for the protests by boarding up ATMs.
ATMs in Berkeley are like protest weather vanes – when the plywood goes up you know the demonstration is coming pic.twitter.com/6gHSC7Exlx
— Paige St. John (@paigestjohn) April 27, 2017
— Berkeleyside (@berkeleyside) April 27, 2017
— Bibliotudinous (@bibliotudinous) April 27, 2017
That should be an embarrassment to any mayor, but Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin on Thursday seemed to not only piggy-back on the New York Times’ suggestion that conservative speakers “are putting themselves into volatile situations” by accepting invitations to speak on college campuses … he took things a step further and claimed that conservatives are behind the “engineered intense animosity against Berkeley and that’s a narrative they keep putting out there.”
Berkeley mayor: Conservatives exploiting 'engineered intense animosity' against city https://t.co/56JukYbSYu
— L.A. Times News 24/7 (@latimesfirehose) April 27, 2017
So, Berkeley would be just another peaceful little town if only conservatives would leave it alone. Why don’t they? Leaving aside the fact that they’ve been invited, Arreguin thinks at least two factors are at play: first, he considers Berkeley “a surrogate for the resistance against the Trump administration,” and second, he’s the city’s first Latino mayor.
“I have to wonder if the mayor was white, would we see such hate,” he told Paige St. John.
Arreguin, along with UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, released a statement Thursday morning in which both claimed to have “gone above and beyond to protect freedom of speech” … despite extensive video of the Milo rioters throwing barricades, smashing windows, setting fires, and smashing those ATMs, even after the speech had been canceled due to safety concerns.
— Ryan Quintana (@Ryan_Quintana) April 27, 2017
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CLUELESS Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin tweets BS about hate speech, regret-tweets 3 hours laterhttps://t.co/VkNUoFBPmp
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) February 2, 2017