Berkeley Cancels Coulter Speech . . . Coulter Vows To Defy University

Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgWe have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country through speech codes and increasingly violent protests. Conservative speakers are now routined denied the opportunity to speak on campuses by university officials who cite security concerns or by mob action preventing events from occurring.  The latest example  is Ann Coulter whose speech was cancelled at the last minute by the university even though she agreed to additional conditions set by officials.  Coulter however pledges to show up to speak regardless of the decision.  That could produce a confrontation with the university in its continued failure to protect free speech on its campus.

We have been discussing the rising intolerance and violence on college campuses, particularly against conservative speakers. (Here and here and here and here). Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over mob rule on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers.  Both students and some faculty have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with whom they disagree and even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech.  At another University of California campus, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.

Coulter has a legitimate grievance with Berkeley and, even if they disagree with her conservative views, both professors and students should be defending her right to speak and the right of others to hear her.  A college Republican group invited Coulter to speak but university officials declared that her appearance on campus was too dangerous in light of past protests.  That is yielding to the heckler’s veto.  The university is rewarding the mob by barring any speakers with whom they may disagree.

In this case, Couter reportedly agreed to add conditions to “call their bluff.”  The cancellation at this public university raises serious free speech issues.  Coulter could however find herself threatened with arrest if the campus police deemed her to be a trespasser in a given area.  That would itself be highly problematic given that fact that much of the campus is open to the public.


Berkeley was once the symbol of the fight for free speech. It is now increasingly viewed as the symbol of mob rule.  Rather than maintain a free and open forum of ideas, Berkeley officials are cancelling any speakers who will not be tolerated by the most violent elements of its community. It teaches a chilling message to a generation that seems increasingly inclined to embrace censorship and speech regulations.  Worse yet, it reaffirms the control of Berkeley by the lowest common element of the mob.

214 thoughts on “Berkeley Cancels Coulter Speech . . . Coulter Vows To Defy University”

  1. UC Berkeley is now (11:45) announcing a presser, think in an hour or so, with a “significant update”.

    We’ll see… a range of people are opposed to the decision by the University…

  2. Universities are supposed to be a place where ideas are exchanged and challenged. But now the way to “challenge” ideas is by protest and intimidation that shuts down all speech thereby doing away with even the possibility of civil debate or free exchange of competing ideas.

    Has the university made a good faith effort to protect free speech here? Or are they enabling intolerance? If protest is also seen as free speech, where do they draw the line as protest turns violent? There needs to be a clear policy that is legally enforced. Black-mask-wearing thugs need to be unmasked and arrested when they throw rocks, smoke bombs, break windows, block entrances, etc.

    Doesn’t the Dept of Education have a Civil Rights Division? Hit them where it hurts. File complaints. Call for investigations. Take away federal funding.

    1. Except that, the reason for Coulter’s appearance is to get free publicity for her book “In Trump We Trust”, not for the free exchange of ideas. She’s the thug: trying to steal free publicity for her controversial book that she knows would go over like a turd in a punch bowl in a place like U.C. Berkeley.

      1. Natacha is the typical liberal, deciding what speech is worthy. She wipes her fat ass w/ the 1st Amendment when she craps.

        1. She really does come across as a very unpleasant person. I’m wondering if her tirade against Coulter isn’t just a projection of herself.

            1. Thanks, Squeeky!! I’m almost getting tired of winning!!!! 🙂

      2. When I was a student at U.C. Berkeley I went to see G. Gordon Liddy speak. That’s right. Right-wing, ex-CIA, Nixon man. And he was treated respectfully by the predominately liberal crowd. Many lined-up after his speech to ask questions. And to learn something from someone who thought differently and had significantly different life experiences. That was around 1981. Oh, how times have changed!

        1. Liddy isn’t an obnoxious loudmouth with fake blond hair who’s trying to get free publicity for a controversial book about a completely unqualified person who stole Hillary Clinton’s presidency. That’s the difference.

          1. Natacha – a new book out shows that Hillary did not poll in the last few weeks, she thought she had a lock. She ran a worse campaign than McCain.

          2. No one stole HIllary’s presidency. Her campaign was terrible, esp the last months. She spent the bulk of the summer campaigning almost privately at small gatherings of extremely wealthy supporters. Yes they all do that, but they also have to get out and press the vulgar common flesh of rank and file voters. Kaine was a lousy choice for VP and it showed that he was unable to draw any crowds at all, so badly that in FL once only 3 people showed up…. In September she collapsed in public and it was handled very badly (there is a SS protocol and it was blown off entirely and she skedaddled to her daughter’s home). She blew off spending time in Penn, WIS and Michigan and it hurt her…. And either from not wanting to be bothered or from lingering illness, she campaigned so little between collapse and election and, in the end, it mattered.

            People love ot point to California (and the coasts did give her that 3 million), but Trumpet won 25 counties here and in, IIRC, 10 of them he won by 10% or more.

  3. Was Coulter not invited to speak at UC Berkeley campus? Did she not initially accept? Thereafter, given much recalcitrant chatter, she is asked NOT to speak. Is that NOT an attempt to delegitimize her character? Is that NOT an attempt to suppress her right to speak without intimidation? In short, UC Berkeley, as a public funded university, has a first Amendment duty to welcome anyone, no matter how controversial, the opportunity to speak.

    1. Gary: you assume that Coulter has any legitimacy in the first place. She doesn’t. She’s a loud mouth, irritating author who gives inflammatory, radical speeches just to sell books to those poor white people who think American needs to be made “great” again after a black President ruined it. And, no. neither Berkeley or any other university has any duty to welcome anyone who is nothing but a trouble-maker with an ulterior motive. The issue is not whether she is “controversial”. She is a trouble-maker, and is doing this solely to create an artificial basis to criticize liberals, not to legitimately express her political views. The University said it lacked the resources to provide protection and safety for everyone. That’s a legitimate reason to dis-invite her.

      1. So you are the Thought Police deciding who is legitimate and who is not? Coulter was an invited guest.

        1. Yep. That is exactly what she is. The Thought Police. Which is maybe a bad way to put it, because actually it should be the “Lack-of-Thought Police.” Because Berkeley-type people can’t support their beliefs with good arguments, sooo they just resort to force and intimidation.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. It kind of reminds me of Hitler deciding who is legitimate and who is not, right? Same kind of Hitlerian thinking going on.

        2. Now she’s an uninvited guest, so she should go away. She’s not being dis-invited because of the Thought Police at all: she’s just trying to get free publicity for her book: “In Trump We Trust”, thus equating that fat, lying, misogynist, racist, mentally ill pig with God. Why would any reasonable person think that an appearance of a loud mouth, arrogant, phony bottle blonde pushing this agenda wouldn’t cause a problem at U.C. Berkeley? It’s free publicity, pure and simple. If they don’t allow her, she screams that the liberals denied her free speech, and pushes her book. If she shows up and a riot breaks out, she gets free publicity. Either way, she wins. Just like The Rump’s lying spokeswitch used news media for free publicity. Every time a question was asked, she ignored it and launched into a pro-Rump speech or attacks on HiIlary Clinton. We’re on to these people.

          1. What happened to the spokeswitch? Ivanka must have sent her to the backroom with Bannon.

          2. A few hundred years ago you would have been burning people alive to save their souls. 100 years ago you would have been wielding an axe and busting up saloons because of Demon Rum and White Slavery. 75 years or so ago, you would have been wearing a Brown shirt and rounding up Jews. In the 60’s, you would have been a member of The Red Guard, beating the Intelligentsia in Mao’s China.

            But, I don’t want you to feel like history has passed you by, or anything. Because there is still North Korea that you can immigrate to, where you can work for the little fat guy who runs the place. That is if merely protesting Free Speech at Berkeley leaves you feeling like an under-achiever.

            BTW, Happy Hitler’s Birthday! If you are celebrating with friends, you can find this movie for free on youtube:


            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

      2. American needs to be made “great” again after a black President ruined it.

        Obama’s only connection to the black population is that he married one of their number. The Administration itself was an 8 year long lawfare operation. Like you, BO and his minions do their part to make the world worse.

        1. So, we need a fat, lying, misogynist, racist, mentally-ill serial sexual assaulter to “save” us?

          1. Neither Mr. Trump nor any of his supporters bear any responsibility for your vicious fantasies. Get back to use when you can utter a sentence fragment not suffused with lies.

      3. Natacha –

        I have reserved a one-way ticket in your name to the Totalitarian Country of your choice. Please reply with your selection. You will be flying United …

  4. You could not pay me to listen to Ann Coulter anywhere. However, I do believe that she and other speakers of either side
    should be permitted to speak at any college or university. If you do not want to hear here stay in your dorm and read a good
    book. Even tho’ i am politically with Bernie Sanders I still love Wm. Frank Buckley Jr. and have been thrilled to be able to
    buy new books by him even though he is no longer with us.
    PS. i do not llike Rachel Maddow either.

    1. Did you know that the reason for her appearance is to sell her new book: “In Trump We Trust”? She’s equating The Rump with God. Does that change your assessment?

      1. What assessment, Natacha? Judy said “you could not pay me to listen to Ann Coulter anywhere.” People often go on speaker tours to promote their books. Is that now a crime, too?

      2. No. It doesn’t change my assessment. How do you know she’s wanting to sell her newest book? She’s got 11 more she’s written. Selling books is part of being on the speaking circuit. If people like what you have to say they sometimes want more, so you offer them books and whatnot for sale at events. That’s the norm. I think you are more offended by the fact that she is a self-described polemicist than that she is trying to sell her newest book that you see as linking Trump to God.

  5. The ONLY good thing abut this is people are noticing. Many were happy to dismiss Milo as “too disruptive” etc., (I did not agree, every effort should be made for the widest range of speakers to appear on campus) but AC called the bluff by agreeing to all the demands and further calls their bluff by saying she will still go….

    It is rarely mentioned but two days prior to Milo’s cancelled address at UCB, he spoke at the UC campus at or near San Luis Obispo on the central COast…. I pulled up the text of his remarks given there, via Breitbart…. sure, inflammatory but imo nothing that should be proscribed on a campus or frankly elsewhere…. Yes, there were protests (not riots and property destruction) and yes they had about 100 cops there, but he got inside the venue and spoke.

  6. Coulter knows she would be nothing but a lightning rod for protests at a place like Berkeley, so why would she even go there in the first place?–I think I know—to stir the pot, cause trouble, cause demonstrations, maybe even violent ones, and ultimately be forced to leave, all so she can criticize Berkeley on the grounds that her right of “free speech” is being curtailed. That was even before the invitation was revoked. So now that she has been officially told not to come, she’s going anyway. Can there be any doubt as to her motivation–to artificially create a scene she can snark about on Fox and anyplace else that will listen to her, about the hypocritical liberals who deny her right of “free speech”.

    Jonathan: why don’t you set up a speech on the topic of Aryan superiority or that the Holocaust was staged by a Neo-Nazi group at a college with a large Jewish constituency, in full uniform, swasticas and all? After all, don’t Nazis have “free speech” rights? Isn’t this a political message that they have the right to express? Or, might this foreseeably stir the pot just to cause trouble and get attention, just like Coulter was trying to do? She’s as phony as her bleached hair, and doesn’t belong anywhere near a college campus. We clearly see through this, and the issue isn’t “free speech” at all, but causing trouble solely to artificially create grounds to criticize liberal colleges like Berkeley. This is clearly akin to yelling “fire” in a crowded auditorium. She knows the majority of persons on campus are opposed to her radical form of conservatism, her loud mouth and rudeness, and that her mere presence would be an irritant.

    1. The Washington Post has its new tag line, Democracy Dies in Darkness. Isn’t the repression of speech a way to send it underground thereby making it more dangerous because it is not operating in the open? Wouldn’t sunlight and an open airing of competing ideas expose and provide opportunity to challenge and hopefully disempower the more harmful and dangerous ideas from growing and spreading?

    2. It’s a pubic university, Natacha. Berkeley Republicans had every right to invite her and she had every right to speak there, inconvenient as that might be for you.

    3. “A conservative national group that was helping to organize the event, Young America’s Foundation, said Coulter also made demands of her own, including that any students engaging in violence be expelled. In her email, Coulter said she is still planning to give her speech, and YAF spokesman Spencer Brown said she has told them that she plans to appear at Berkeley on April 27.” Coulter can’t demand that Cal expel students for protesting.

      1. anon,

        I agree with you. She has no right to demand they be expelled. It’s pretty obvious that Coulter doesn’t uphold the rights of people she doesn’t agree with. In other words, she is exactly like the student’s saying they will commit violence if she speaks. They are all fascists who do not value our Constitution.

        The university can tell her that she isn’t police or in the judiciary. If those are her terms those terms will not be met. If she would like to speak, she will have the same rights as any other speaker, no more, no less.

        I would hope left wing people would stand up for free speech by demanding it be honored. I would also hope that right wing people would stand up for free speech by telling her to buzz off unless she accepts that she doesn’t have “special rights”.

        If people don’t expect their own side to honor the Constitution, it will die.

        1. The ACLU agrees with you but then there is the protection of the 40,000 students.

          1. anon,

            This has been the argument of the govt. I’m quite familiar with it. (And they don’t have to protect 40,000 students. However, let’s grant you that figure for the sake of argument.)

            The highest duty of state officials is the “safety” (does not include safety from the police state) of its people. In order to insure your “safety” except your safety from the police state you will now relinquish your rights. You will accept the relinquishing of your rights and you will say nothing about it or you will be punished by the state which is protecting you from harm. You have the right to be indefinitely detained in the facility of the state’s choice. You have the right to have uparmored police and the military beat you, spray you and monitor your attempts at protest to redress your grievances with the state which is protecting you by being violent to you. The govt. will monitor your thoughts and let you know if you are saying or thinking any wrong thoughts. These wrong thoughts will be stored indefinitely, without your knowledge or approval to be used against you so that you will be “safe”. ETC.

            We got here by believing just such types of nonsense. It’s not even a slippery slope. It’s already happened.

              1. CNN: US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Way bigger deal than Coulter……..

                1. Yes, this is unconstitutional. The thing is, I wonder if other newspapers will just stupidly go along with the prosecution or if they will speak out against it. Things are so bad with our “press” I truly have no idea if they will stand up for Assange and his right to publish or if they’ll just throw him under the bus.

        2. Jill – they upped the security fees for her appearance, which were met, along with some other conditions. She had two conditions of her own. One was that students who protested and committed violence be expelled. The university refused to meet those.

          1. Paul,

            the university should not agree to her demands. Those particular demands show her up as the fascist she is!

            1. Jill – there is no reason why a student caught committing violence on campus should not be expelled. Students have been expelled over pantie raids.

              1. Paul,

                That’s the university and the police’s decision. She may not demand this. She is not the police and she is not the judiciary and she doesn’t rule over the university. . Those are the entities which make these types of decisions. If these are her demands she can make them all she wants (they are fascist demands) but no one should approve them or approve of them. Rule of law means, rule of law!

                1. Then why have the Berkeley police chief and mayor told the cops to stand down and let it happen when violence erupts instead of stopping it? Coutler is making the point.

                2. “She may not demand this.” “If these are her demands she can make them all she wants..”

                  Interesting how you managed to overrule yourself in one post. Clearly she has a right to demand anything she wants and clearly that exercise of her freedom of speech IS NOT fascist. She’s not demanding that protesters be silenced. Her demand is that there be consequences up to and including expulsion from the university for anyone that does physical harm to people or property. That position is not fascist, it is reasonable. What Coulter should not have is ANY expectation that the university MUST comply with her demands. Whether they do or don’t is the decision of the university alone.

    4. U.C. Berkeley is a HUGE campus. Nobody has to be anywhere near the demonstrations if they are concerned about their safety. Young men who enjoy fighting will show up, but nobody will be forced to go. I was a serious student at Cal. I never missed a day in the library. And there are libraries all over campus. I stayed away from demonstrations and studied in whichever library was in a safe and quiet area. Never had a problem with the protestors. Let them do their thing, and the students will survive just fine.

      1. There ya go. Plenty of safe spaces to retreat to. So what’s the problem with have Coulter speak?

      2. TIN..
        – Was there ever an update on Berkeley’s pride and joy, Ian Dabney Miller?
        There was a flurry of reporting in early Feb., then absolutely no followup that I have seen.

        1. He’s lawyered up and working on a plea deal. I hope he rats out his fellow anarchist thugs.

          1. Thanks, TIN. It was reported that the FBI was involved in the investigations into the early Feb. riots, but who knows if/when they’ll wrap it up.

  7. Most people believe (mistakenly, in my opinion) that the “free speech” movement back in the 60’s was about free speech. It wasn’t. It was public demand that *THIER* message be heard. They weren’t interested at all in protecting the rights of everyone to speak freely, it was a selfish motive that they wrapped in grandiose constitutional robes.

  8. Leave Coulter in the auditorium and do something which requires courage. Get out and demand the arrest of USGinc. “leaders” for war crimes. Trump is now going to take care of Iran. Believe me, if he does that, you really won’t have to worry about having to listen to Coulter or anyone else for that matter.

    If you want to engage with actual State power, take them on with a peaceful protest of soul force. We need everyone on board. Unlike these ridiculous actions that any narcissist can cope with, a real resistance against the powerful isn’t going to be comfortable and supportive. Any idiot can protest for their narcissistic belief that they shouldn’t hear people who disagree with them. A person of courage acts when it costs something to act against the powerful. This is that time.

    1. Leave Coulter in the auditorium and do something which requires courage. Get out and demand the arrest of USGinc. “leaders” for war crimes.

      It doesn’t require any courage to be a jack-wagon, Jill. There are no war crimes.

  9. @Steve Groen, April 20, 2017 at 10:22 am
    “At some point, it’s simply safer and more efficient to prevent the speech, and that’s what Cal decided was best. I don’t have a problem with it.”

    Then you’re pathetically condoning unconstitutional mob rule.

    Your stated position reminds me of that of the city police who told us that our 15-member group couldn’t hold up our anti-war signs in front of the outdoor podium where Lyndon Johnson was going to speak in 1965, because the police “couldn’t guarantee our safety” if we did.

    They would be able to guarantee our safety, they said, if we took our signs down the street and around the corner where Johnson couldn’t see us. We declined their authoritarian offer, and for refusing to put down our signs and disperse, were arrested.

    Based on their comments and their bristling hostility, what most bothered the LEOs on scene was our having the effrontery to publicly confront their maximum leader and authority figure, the President of the United States.

    If they had been remotely interested in enforcing the law by observing the 1st Amendment, they could have simply warned, and if necessary, arrested anyone who physically accosted us for exercising that fundamental Constitutional right.

    Your position also reminds me of Benjamin Franklin’s observation that “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”

    And, of course, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    1. My understanding of hostile-audience law (the heckler’s veto) is that the school has to use all reasonable means to protect the speaker, but if there’s a likelihood of imminent danger to public order, the school can prevent the speech.

      Singing songs and carrying signs is one thing, Ken Rogers, but if there were a serious threat of violence to innocents in attendance, and you wouldn’t prevent the speech, well, we just see things differently.

      Perhaps Ms. Coulter and her sponsors could sue for access on constitutional grounds rather than giving the speech anyway and increasing the likelihood of her own liability. I’ll give you this: it’s clearly a factual determination whether Cal’s action was reasonable.

  10. Coulter’s demands were small. Arrest the violent hecklers and expel violent student protesters. The university cancelled on those grounds.

  11. Until they can identify the agent provocateurs who incite riots on campuses, I understand this decision. They are not about protecting free speech; they are anarchists whose goal is to cause bodily harm and physical destruction.

    1. Yes there was a clash between the anarchists dressed in black and white supremacists last week. The parents probably want to keep the students safe and therefore support the university’s decision.

    2. Actually, the UCB police do know who they are. They have files and photos of most of the anarchists. Unfortunately the campus police, even though they are sworn officers under Calif law, act more as security guards and will not engage with the rioters nor make arrests. They need to bring in some real cops, such as the Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept, known as the “Blue Meanies.” I think the U.C. administrators don’t want the campus police to engage with the rioters because they fear an escalation in violence. These are professional anarchists who show up prepared for battle and wouldn’t think twice about physically engaging with the U.C. police, about half of whom are women, and another 25% or so are smaller sized men. But allowing them to riot unchecked is sending the wrong message. If they need to bring in some big brawny experienced cops from Oakland or elsewhere, then so be it. It’s not fair to the students to have their campus torn up while the campus cops stand around taking videos.

      1. These administrators tell their campus cops to stand down because these administrators do not disapprove of what the rioters are doing.

        Non ci credo re the thesis that Berkeley students have no hand in these disruptions

        1. A brawny female lumberjack? Or maybe it’s really the male lumberjack in drag. Is the brawny guy transitioning to female? Should we even ask? Should we now call him Chelsea?

  12. I am glad to see Ann Coulter stepping up and planning to speak anyway. She should simply stand on the steps of Sproul Hall and speak, giving a rebirth the to Free Speech movement.

  13. Camille Paglia has already predicted Trumps reelection and horsesh!t like this will guarantee it.

    1. Perhaps Ms.Paglia can convince him that he needs a large dose of Aricept in order to run again.

  14. The Left’s attack on Conservative speech is irrefutable evidence of the repressive nature of ithe Left’s politics. It reminds me of communist China’s Red Guard movement. If Hillary had been elected, she would have cheered the repression and entered an executive order mandating it.

  15. I’m not a fan of this woman. She typically has facts on her side, but she’s “Daddy Government” is the answer.

    HOWEVER, I don’t like what she says, but I’ll defend to the death her right to say it. Yet, I doubt she’d do the same for me.

    1. HOWEVER, I don’t like what she says, but I’ll defend to the death her right to say it. Yet, I doubt she’d do the same for me.

      No, you’re not going to take a bullet for her.


  16. In all these stories the one element we never hear about is the parents of the students or the alumni.

    1. Agreed! They’re all too cowed by the fear of losing the Berkeley degree presumptive stamp-of-superiority. This is how it’s done – even in “feeder” nursery schools in Manhattan!

    2. The parents want the credential for their kids. They care about the value of the credential. The alumni fall into several sectors: those who think the opposition has it coming to them; those indifferent and disengaged; mindless institutional boosters; and people disgusted with what’s going on there. The smart money says that the shares of alumni in each category are as follows: 25%, 55%, 15%, and 5%. With regard to the trustees, the progtrash would be about 20% and the mindless institutional boosters about 80%.

      1. And there are those alums who actually lived in Berkeley for four years and understand that there is a large, heavily radicalized group of anarchists which has existed in Berkeley and North Oakland since the 1960s and the days of SDS, the Communist Youth Party and the Black Panthers. These people are not students, but will descend on the campus to commit violent protests. The campus police are fairly benign and will stand back and not engage with them. On the other hand, when they riot in Oakland, the OPD will take them on with gusto. Unfortunately, people will assume that anything that happens on the open-to-the-public Berkeley campus is the action of Berkeley students. Back in the late 60s there were a lot of white liberal arts students at UCB who had the time and personal interest to protest against the draft and the Vietnam War. That era is ancient history. The demographics at UCB are so different now that students jokingly call it ” U.C. Hong Kong.” Lots of Asian engineering and science students. UCB is extremely competitive to get into and these students are working hard to get good grades. They are not out rioting. That’s why the alums support UCB, because we’ve been there and we know that rioters are off-campus radicals, not students.

  17. I guess I lay the blame for actions like this on our poor educational system. How did we go from the 60s and 70s when free speech and protest was such a part of anyone growing up to today when we are offended by speech we disagree with?

    Perhaps the answer lies in human nature. We are all selfish to some extent and given power, we all want things our way. Some of us are better at fighting these tendencies than others. It appears those in power at Berkeley are unable to be more altruistic.

    1. You answered it, and add in the lack of discipline and responsibility to protect these ideals when they are uncomfortable. Liberalism is becoming totalitarianism. The firemen will be coming for the books next. There’s not counter argument, we see the proof daily now.

      1. “Firemen will be coming for the books next” and equating liberalism to totalitarianism are a stretch. Neo-liberalism perhaps will probably get us there, but old-fashion liberalism sought to tear down the rigid walls of conservatism.

        I agree that the university should take reasonable and appropriate steps to permit Coulter to speak. ’60s and ’70s speech on that campus was peaceful. Now, however, there are student and local audiences that could be in danger by allowing her to speak. Is there no bright line between protecting speech and protecting an innocent audience where one of them must give way to the other?

        Mr. Turley’s statement regarding the university’s “continued failure to protect free speech on its campus,” neglects to address the real consequences of allowing Coulter to speak, along with the practical dilemma of how to protect everyone. In other words, how does the university deal with a potentially violent “heckler’s veto,” short of preventing potential harm to all concerned? Does it station campus police with mounted M240 .308s on plated Humvees or call in the national guard who might take a few pot shots at vocal opponents? At some point, it’s simply safer and more efficient to prevent the speech, and that’s what Cal decided was best. I don’t have a problem with it.

        1. If Ike could send troops to Little Rock to protect rights, Trump could send troops to Berkeley for the same reason.

        2. “At some point, it’s simply safer and more efficient to prevent the speech, and that’s what Cal decided was best. I don’t have a problem with it.”

          Way to think big Steve. What other rights are you willing to give up because “it’s simply safer and more efficient” to do so?

            1. Steve,

              Olly, FFS, and Paul are people you can have a conversation with. What is your answer to the problem they raised? I feel the same as they do and I’m on the opposite end of the political spectrum from them. I don’t understand why a group can threaten violence and get free speech shut down. I think it’s very dangerous to give into these threats.

              Yes, facing violence is scary and yes, people might get hurt. There are paid protesters who incite and commit violence. There are people who will commit violence on their own. There are people who will commit violence in a crowd. And there are people who refuse to commit violence, period.

              The school could offer non-violence training. It could talk about spotting professional agitators and how to keep your head as best you can when they are trying to provoke you to commit violence. They can have seminars on the importance of hearing diverse viewpoints. They can give seminars on non-violent protest. There are real choices which don’t abridge the Constitution.

              I feel values are values even when we are scared. The US population has given up most of our once “inalienable” rights for the sake of “safety” (that’s what Olly, FFS and Paul are pointing out). We can’t keep doing this.

              Why do you think we should?

              1. Jill, there is no fiduciary duty owed to adult students in this state nor is there a reasonable duty of UC to protect students, as exist in states like Arizona, Massachusetts, and Kansas (paradoxically, athletic activities including visiting football teams are afforded a special duty of supervision): I indicated what I thought is the current federal constitutional rule on the heckler’s veto: the Regents of the University of California have to use all reasonable means to protect the speaker, but if there’s a reasonable likelihood of imminent danger to public order (which would seem to require acknowledgment of the right to public safety under Art. I, sec. 28, subd. (a)(7) of the California Constitution), they can shut down the speech.

                Article I, section 28, subd. (a)(7) of the state constitution states: “[T]he People find and declare that the right to public safety extends to public and private primary, elementary, junior high, and senior high school, and community college, California State University, University of California, and private college and university campuses, where students and staff have the right to be safe and secure in their persons.”

                This past Saturday’s events in Berkeley certainly didn’t help:

                1. Steve,

                  Do you worry that any speaker might be shut down because others threaten violence? Didn’t MLK get the same kinds of threats? Didn’t the police and FBI actually commit violence on him? Should he have had no place to speak because there were people willing to shut him up, including people in law enforcement? I’m not trying to compare Coulter to MLK but the principle of the threat or actual violence shutting people up is real in both cases. She doesn’t have to be a worthy person to have a right to speak.

                  An atheist came to speak in my town and there was a bomb threat. Yes I was terrified to go ahead and be in the room after that threat but I felt it was important to go hear the speaker even though I was scared. I have protested with snipers across the street from me. Yes, that is terrifying, but I still thought it was important enough to hold my ground.

                  Someone else pointed out, otherwise this is the rule of the mob. I agree with that. People should not be able to shut others up by threatening violence. Students can be safe by not attending the talk or by the University using other methods (I mentioned some above) to help calm people down. I can’t agree with you on this one because this is exactly how we have already lost so many rights in our nation–trading “safety” for rights.

                  1. “Do you worry that any speaker might be shut down because others threaten violence? Didn’t MLK get the same kinds of threats?”

                    These are big sticks in your advocacy basket, so UC better have credible evidence of imminent danger. However, you’re advocating for a per se right to political speech by an invitee to the campus who has now been uninvited, and that’s not what the law is nor do I agree with a per se right to speak.

                    Should the Ku Klux Klan have an absolute right to parade on the campus of Jackson State University?!

                    How do you know the campus has “reasonable means to protect the speaker”?

                    Is non-violence training before Coulter speaks adequate?

                    How does UC know who are the violent heckler’s before the fact and in light of the state’s fundamental right of students’ public safety on campus?

                    Shouldn’t the Regents make the final determination?

                    1. Steve,

                      They disenvited her because of the threat of violence. That isn’t right.

                      Yes, the KKK should be able to march. That’s already been determined in the law. Nazis get to march. That’s already been determined in the law. Do you realize how strong of a statement of support for each other’s rights it would be to allow the KKK to march at Jackson State? The people there would be saying; your hate doesn’t rule me. I stand for freedom. I stand for justice and I stand for the rights of all people. You will march and I will stand for something much greater and much more powerful than all the hatred your group can ever bring to this campus. Don’t you see how much power that conveys?

                      No one is guaranteed safety in life. You can walk in the street and get run over. There isn’t any guarantee. All the school can do is take the best measures it can. No, the Regents shouldn’t get to decided this. The Constitution decides it.

                    2. The Constitution has decided it in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) 393 US 503.

                      Under Tinker, at p. 514, the Supreme Court stated “schools may prohibit speech that ‘might reasonably [lead] school authorities to forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities,’ or that constitutes an ‘actual or nascent [interference] with the schools’ work or . . . collision with the rights of other students to be secure and to be let alone.’ Id. at 508, 514; see also Wynar, 728 F.3d at 1067 (quoting Tinker, 393 U.S. at 508, 514.). As we have explained, ‘the First Amendment does not require school officials to wait until disruption actually occurs before they may act. In fact, <they have a duty to prevent the occurrence of disturbances.‘ Karp v. Becken, 477 F.2d 171, 175 (9th Cir. 1973) (footnote omitted). Indeed, in the school context, ‘the level of disturbance required to justify official intervention is relatively lower in a public school than it might be on a street corner.’ . . .” Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District (9th Cir.) Order and Amended Opinion filed 2/27/2014, at p. 25.


                      “[T]he daily administration of public education is committed to school officials. Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 104, 89 S.Ct. 266, 21 L.Ed.2d 228 (1968). That responsibility carries with it the inherent authority to prescribe and control conduct in the schools. When a conflict does arise, Tinker then provides that the students’ rights to free speech may not be abridged in the absence of ‘facts which might reasonably have led school authorities to forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities . . . .’ 393 U.S. at 514, 89 S.Ct. at 740.” Karp v. Becken, 477 F.2d at p.175.


                      Wouldn’t disruption or interference include reasonably foreseeable destruction of property, let alone foreseeable harm to students?

                      Recap: In the Ninth Circuit at least, speech at schools is treated differently in the constitutional context. School officials don’t have to wait until disruption or interference actually occurs if there exist facts from which they could reasonably conclude “substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities” would result. If the Regents of the University of California have such facts, they can shut down Ann Coulter’s speech.

            2. I don’t even know what that means Steve. What I do know is you’ve dodged the fundamental question.

              You are what is wrong with the law. You’re armed with a skill that has the potential to destroy or secure liberty under the color of law, and you consistently argue in favor of the former. This discussion is a lay down on free speech, yet you’ve done your lawyer thing AGAIN to “justify” infringing that fundamental right.

              1. Nah, it was always up to the school to figure out. Speech rights aren’t absolute on campus. I’m sorry you interpreted what I wrote that way, but if there was a likelihood of significant harm, I would have shut it down, which the school could have done under current the 9th Circuit precedent I cited.

                1. Steve,

                  Doesn’t that apply to High Schools on down? It’s moot at this point since they are hosting her, but I did wonder about the ruling.

                  1. Jill: After further review, I think you’re right, and I jumped the gun.

                    In terms of any general duty of care to students, there isn’t one in California for post-secondary education, but there is a duty of care owed to students up through high school here. For example, “in Crow v. State of California (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 192, a student filed a negligence claim against a state university after being assaulted by another student inside a school dormitory. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the school “knew of the vicious and dangerous propensities of [the attacker],” who had previously assaulted a residence hall advisor.  (Id. at p. 197.)   The complaint further alleged that, despite such knowledge, the university had “refused and neglected to take any action to prevent [the assailant] from continuing in his vicious and dangerous propensities and to prevent the attack, assault and battery on plaintiff.”   (Ibid.) The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that they had “no duty to control the acts of adult students.”  (Id. at p. 198.)   The plaintiff, however, “contended ․ that his affiliation with the university as a student created ․ a special relationship” giving rise to “an affirmative duty to protect him” from the foreseeable “criminal acts of a third party.”   (Id. at p. 209.)   In support, plaintiff cited prior case law holding that secondary schools “ha[ve] a duty to protect student[s]” from foreseeable attacks by third parties. (Ibid.) . . .

                    “‘The appellate court concluded that the university had no duty to protect the plaintiff, explaining that there is a ‘distinction between young, immature schoolchildren in grammar and high schools on the one hand and adult students in colleges and universities on the other.’  (Crow, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d at p. 209.)  Unlike high school students, who are required to attend class and remain under the “direct[ ] charge” of school officials (id. at 208), adult college students attend voluntarily and ‘regulate their own lives.’  (Id. at p. 209.)   The appellate court reasoned that imposing a duty on college and universities to protect their students from third party criminal conduct would require a level of supervision and regulation that was incompatible with the ‘realities of modern college life’ and the ‘goal[s] of postsecondary education.’”  (Id. at p, ?)

                    (Regents of Univ. of Calif. v. Super. Ct. (Katherine Rosen) (2nd Dist., Div. 7, 2015).)

                    “Institutions of higher education have no duty to their adult students to protect them against the criminal acts of third persons.” (Ochoa v. California State University (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 1300, 1306.)

                    So, it boils down to the “heckler’s veto,” used by government to suppress speech “offensive to some of [its] hearers, or simply because bystanders object to peaceful and orderly demonstrations.” (Dariano v. Morgan Hill School District (9th Cir.) No. 11–17858, filed 2/27/2014, at fn. 7; quoting Bachellar v. Maryland (1970) 397 U.S. 564, 567)), and the accompanying “heckler’s veto doctrine,” and measuring what’s reasonable protection of that speech at the risk of “a hostile and even violent reaction from an audience” (id. at p. ?).

        3. Goodness gracious sakes alive. Violent thugs said “jump” and the UCB administration responded “how high?”A society that tolerates the violation of citizens’ rights by violent thugs is on a vicious downward spiral. Remember Franklin’s warning: “a republic, if you can keep it”. The republic faces the danger of a future tipping point beyond which the republic is lost.

        4. “At some point, it’s simply safer and more efficient to prevent the speech, and that’s what Cal decided was best. I don’t have a problem with it.” Wow!

          Just give in if someone threatens violence? How about arresting those causing harm and threatening violence?

          Perhaps Steve is one of those that needs a better education on what happens in a society when people are afraid to speak up (e.g. modern day Turkey).

            1. Steve Groen

              Every time that you post, I lose a little more respect for you.

              1. I’m glad for your default starting position of having some respect. Think of those who have no respect because of their shallow, learned racism. They’re the problem.

                1. You think people who disagree with you are racist? Seriously?

                  1. FFS: When Paul Schulte called Obama an “illegitimate half-breed,” I think he’s a racist. Seriously.

                    It’s about ignorance, and if you think I’m wrong for calling him a racist, you’re ignorant, too. Seriously.

                    1. Well, his white mother was not married to his black father, so…

                    2. Steve Groen – Obama is both illegitimate and a half-breed (that is a fact, Jack). I am only a half-breed.

                    3. No, it’s derisive and rude, it’s only raaacist if you fancy the President cannot be spoken of with the same derision progtrash reserve for evangelicals.

                      The Dunham-Obama marriage was invalid because it was bigamous. Not sure just when Ann Dunham was clued in to the fact he had a wife back home. IIRC, she did not seek a divorce on those grounds.

        5. Thanks Steve, that’s well said. There is a clear dividing point when neo-liberalism spawned. I am probably myself part of the former. Or libertarian. “Do whatever you want, just don’t concern me, and own up to the consequences of your actions.

        6. Welcome to America, Steve. Here, we learn in school that every tyrant since time began justifies suppression of speech on public safety grounds. Since you’re new here you might want to learn about our culture. Primer: we don’t buy bullshark pretexts of those engaging in denial of free speech based on its content and we don’t cower to panty-waist tyrants even if they form a really big and scary mob. Bring in the National Guard.

        7. Steve,

          Now that the university has agreed that she can speak and they can protect people, do you feel differently than what you stated above?

          1. Jill, it’s their call, not mine. I don’t feel any differently. It’s really about an objective look at what speech is protected and what it takes to prevent it. Perhaps school officials didn’t have enough facts to show substantial disruption or material interference with school activities as required by Tinker.

      2. Ding ding ding ding!

        Aaaaaanddd we have a WINNER!

        TWO comments into the thread and it’s already…

        Da Libruls! Da Libruls! Da Libruls! Da Libruls! Da Libruls! Da Libruls!

        Uhhh… you do realize hundreds of NEO-NAZIS were in berkeley last Saturday? And they came deliberately to get violent? I know… I know… ‘facts’ can be inconvenient things that get in the way of such pleasant, soothing, self-serving rants…

        But do, occasionally, try to engage the ‘reality-based’ community’… it’s just not healthy for grown men and women to spend so much time standing so close to each other in a dark room, chanting the same thing over and over and over again…

        And what’s that smell? Open a window for Christ’s sake…

        1. Uhhh… you do realize hundreds of NEO-NAZIS were in berkeley last Saturday? And they came deliberately to get violent? I

          Zero neo-nazis were in Berkeley. Trump supporters were in Berkeley and they kicked your ass because you were begging for it.

        2. If you label ‘all’ Trump supporters as evil Neo Nazi’s and white supremacists then these black-mask-wearing antifa thugs can justify violence towards them, right?

          If you call yourself anti-fascist but use fascist methods, doesn’t that make you a fascist, the very thing you are protesting against?

    2. Many if not most of the faculty which are pushing this agenda and indoctrinating students to their views, are the same people who as students where supposedly fighting for free speech back in the 60s and 70s. Their idea of free speech is freedom to speak in agreement with them.

      1. Not really. I suspect if you took a closer look, you’d discover the median year of birth of today’s tenured faculty would be around about 1963 and the median year of birth of college presidents would be around about 1952. No one born prior to about 1955 is of age to have participated in any campus protests and no one born prior to about 1952 could have been a member of the Students for a Democratic Society before it imploded in a mix of Maoist and terrorist lunacy. By and large, the members of the student movement are out to grass.

        1. I agree. The famous Berkeley Free Speech Movement was in 1964. Thus the FSM participants would have been born between 1938-1942. Today’s faculty and students are much younger and grew up in a feminized mommy-dominated culture where nothing is more important than their feelings and “self-esteem.”

    3. Well, the seed was down in the 60s. You will note that there was an element, even then, that wanted to force its ideas onto the public. There were of course the terrorist groups of The Weather Underground and the Black Panthers. But there were others who either used violence or merely tried to physically block what they didn’t like. It was viewed as fighting the good fight. And universities preferentially hire people who got arrested protesting, cop killers, and other domestic terrorists. Preach hatred against the US and you are a shoe in, and many of those professors got their start in the 1960s. There has always been this feeling among them that they should be able to force their minority views upon others. Stage a disruptive protest of a minority viewpoint and try to make them cave. They just didn’t have the scope back then that they do today, now that the Extremist Left runs Hollywood, most of the media, the public education system, universities, the DOJ, the IRS, and the NSA.

      Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Our government and education system, even the EPA, have become weaponized against conservatives. So of course there are these attacks on free speech. That’s what dictatorships do. The violence, looting, burning, and vows of cities across America to defy the President, defy federal law, should be viewed as exactly what it is: a coup attempt to raise a dictatorship.

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