Berkeley Mayor Objects To Those Trying To Block Free Speech Events So He Asks For Free Speech Week To Be Cancelled

JesseYesterday, I posted a column on the violence of Antifa protesters and their war on free speech.  Judging from the actions of Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin they appear to be succeeding.  After Antifa and counterprotesters chased and beat people trying to attend the event this week, Arreguin immediately came up with a solution to their denial of free speech: cancel the free speech event.  That is like solving bank robbery by asking banks to empty their vaults.

Arreguin asked conservatives to forego their events because counterprotesters would show up and violently oppose their exercise of free speech:

“I don’t want Berkeley being used as a punching bag . . . I am concerned about these groups using large protests to create mayhem. It’s something we have seen in Oakland and in Berkeley.”

Arreguin sees the problem as the exercise of free speech as opposed to those who want to stop it.  He has asked UC Berkeley to halt plans by the conservative  Berkeley Patriot to host conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos during its scheduled Free Speech Week from Sept. 24-27. No free speech, no problem. It is that simple for Arreguin.

It is less simple for the rest of us who are not so willing to yield to the
“heckler’s veto.”  Arreguin treats free speech like it is some illicit temptation for those inclined toward mayhem:


“I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street.”

Imagine if all leaders like Arreguin and, as previously discussed, Nancy Pelosi, could simply cancel events when others might object to the content of speech.  Like Pelosi, Arreguin mouths support for free speech while curtailed it on the basis of how such views would be received by others.

“I obviously believe in freedom of speech, but there is a line between freedom of speech and then posing a risk to public safety. That is where we have to really be very careful — that while protecting people’s free-speech rights, we are not putting our citizens in a potentially dangerous situation and costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing the windows of businesses.”

It is hard to the evidence that Arrequin “believes in freedom of speech” when he is willing to yield to the mob to deny it.

There is another approach. The city can arrest those committing mayhem and the university should expel any who are students at Berkeley.  The thing about free speech is that people actually have to speak.



65 thoughts on “Berkeley Mayor Objects To Those Trying To Block Free Speech Events So He Asks For Free Speech Week To Be Cancelled”

  1. Ole Nicky K head of the communist party once said: “We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.”

  2. “large protests to create mayhem”?

    Isn’t that what’s been transpiring in Berkeley since the mid-1960s?

  3. This is getting ridiculous. They have no power and must turn to look around at what offends. If you don’t like what is said, don’t listen. The problem, as I see it, is all the immigrants and refugees that are overrunning democratic countries in Europe and trying to get here, are not used to people speaking their minds and the left wants to Cow tow for their vote. Could it be more transparent?

  4. This mayor would have fit in very well as a slave owner. He effectively told his community they have no right to free speech and if they get out of line, Antifa will be there to get them back in line.

  5. Hmmm….where have I heard similar arguments? To keep us safe, we need the NDAA, the Patriot Act, Gitmo, more wars, mass surveillance and in general, the removal of all our Constitutional rights.

    Somehow I don’t think we are being kept safe. I think we are being corralled into totalitarianism.

    The police are perfectly capable of stopping violent protesters. Interestingly, FOIA documents were released a few months back showing that USGinc., including the military, infiltrated “leftist” groups with the intent to foment violence by group members during the riots of the 60’s. Hmmmm…..

    1. Jill, in the case of Antifa individuals and others acting in violent ways we don’t need any more laws. The law is clear regarding violence and intimidation. The simple response is to arrest the violent ones according to the law and provide jail cells for them as long as necessary.

      1. allan,

        You are correct about the laws already being in place.

        Laws and the rule of law have been perfectly capable of protecting us in every case USGinc. has told us that we must give up the Constitution to be “protected”. I’m showing there is a pattern here. This is the govt.’s method of obtaining a police state.

        1. OK, I’ll accept your premise, but that means the police must act and prevent the violence or throw the violent people in jail. If they don’t do that then those who were legally protesting will in essence lose their rights to free speech which is a right guaranteed in the first amendment. The states have an obligatin to protect that right in the 14th amendment and if they don’t the federal government has a right to act.

  6. Antifa, funded by George Soros, the MSM and Dem politicians are colluding to intimidate all speech from the right. Free speech and the Constitution WILL PREVAIL.

  7. The first amendment right to free speech protects your relationship with the government, not with me. I don’t have to listen to anyone’s garbage.

    1. Free speech doesn’t mean other people have to listen to you. Just that the government doesn’t silence you. Statutory law prevents other people from silencing you.

  8. Newsflash: Arreguin’s stock in trade is intellectual and moral fraud, as is the Berkeley administration’s. Arreguin in particular belongs behind bars.

  9. “When pushed, Bray’s rationalization for the antifa movement rapidly descends into intellectual gibberish:”

    This is from the Hill article of John Turley which is among his best. The defense on this blog of those that commit “terror” to prevent free speech is the givverish Turley talks about. This Mayor is telling the people to give up their rights and their Constitution and turn them over to a bunch of violent morons.

    1. I wonder when Dartmouth will show Prof. Bray the door? Not holding my breath.

        1. allan, funny you should say that. I was just thinking the other day that it is unlikely that those who espouse these theories actually believe them. Intersectionality, critical race theory, etc. I think the people who came up with these inane terms just threw spaghetti at the wall, wondering what would happen. I imagine they are as gobsmacked as everyone else that there was a small fraction of people who took the gobbledygook seriously. Then once the snowball got rolling, they got rolled into it, forced to continue espousing their inane ideologies, and here we find ourselves, with special snowflakes arguing there’s no such thing as biological sex.

          1. Cape Cod, did you hear the comment about Melania’s shoes as she boarded Air Force One? This Huuricane is serious threat with massive destruction killing people. CNN is interested in what Melania wears onto a plane heading for the area of devastation and then people accept that type of idiocy as real and important news.

            Maybe Squeeky can write a poem about this lunacy.

            1. Not much follow up on that story either showing her in appropriate shoes when she arrived in Texas.

            2. allan, haven’t watched TV all day and I never watch CNN, so I missed that most important news item! 🙂
              Actually, this whole flooding tragedy has really shown how many people have TDS–making the flooding a political hot potato? Insanity. Houston is an urban planning nightmare; I lived in one of the suburbs for a few yrs– highways would flood virtually every summer because many sections are under sea level, and it rains a lot in the area in summer, irrespective of hurricane season.


              1. Cape Cod, you really have to follow CNN more closely. 🙂 But I agree watching the news on TV is not a satisfactory way to remain informed. One might as well read Natacha’s rantings which echo a lot of the news media out there. Thank goodness for the Internet where one can crosscheck what is said.

  10. Professor Turley – in 5 years you (and others like you) are going to be called “Nazis” simply for standing up for the right to speak freely. I am glad you have tenure.

  11. Has anyone considers how racist (and erroneous) the mayor’s comment about the “black bloc” is? It is racist because he is suggesting that black folks and their allies can’t control themselves. It is erroneous because most of the rioting I see is from white trash. Even in Charlottsville, virtually all of the violence came from white people.

    1. Whatever you may think of the events in Charlottesville, the overwhelming majority of violence came from the Antifa and BLM. Same is true for the events in Boston and Berkeley.

      Who needs more protection at a public event, Ann Coulter or a spokesperson for BLM?

      Of course, we all know “Nazis” shouldn’t have free speech and a “Nazi” is defined as anyone to the right of Paul Ryan or who disagrees with those precious members of BLM.

      1. I agree to an extent. However, most of the Antifa guys rioting in Charlottsville were white. There were a couple of black guys like the guy with the home made flamethrower, but most people exhibiting violent behavior were white, at least if the news footage can be believed.

        1. Like the first civil war, this is overwhelming a war between two factions of whites.

    2. Vince, on the odd chance that you’re not being sardonic, the membership of The Black Bloc are mostly young White people. On the even chance that you already knew that, then . . . never mind.

      1. Diane intentionally or unintentionally Vince should not have linked his three sentences together in this fashion. Many on the left are racists because they believe that certain minorities cannot compete without an advantage being provided and those leftists gain the feeling of power and satisfaction by providing those advantages using the resources of involuntary third parties. That type of thinking is faulty. There is no need for society to be so paternalistic to specific ethnic groups. That doesn’t exclude society from helping those in need.

          1. No problem Vince. I only commented on placement because such placement caused an ambiguity. I agree with your belief that some people acting in a paternalistic manner (my words) do so for their own needs and those actions demonstrate an underlying racism in many of them.

      2. Diane,

        Please stop using words I don’t understand. I am uncertain what sardonic means so I don’t know if I am not being sardonic. What I meant to convey is that the mayor’s use of the term “black bloc” implies that it is African-Americans who are doing most of the rioting. That is, subconsciously I am sure, racist. It is also untrue. It may also be untrue that the “black bloc” consists of mostly white people. I don’t know that either since I had never heard the term used before. I hate when people make up words and phrases and expect others to understand what they are talking about. I guess my main point was supposed to be that some whites feel compelled to take up what they perceive to be the cause of black people even when black people aren’t so enthusiastic about it. That, too, is racist.

        1. Vince, sardonic is equivalent to sarcastic, or satirical, or snide, or facetious.

          I’ve seen pictures of The Black Bloc. The ones in the photos are all young White people. They’re an anarchist group with European roots best known for opposing globalism–especially at G20 and G-8 summits.

          I used the term sardonic in case you knew The Black Bloc was mostly a White group. I strongly suspect that the Mayor of Berkeley knows who The Black Bloc are.

          1. Great. Now I know. Please feel free to use the word in any future responses to me. Thanx.

        2. Vince – “Black Bloc” has nothing to do with black people. It is a term first used in Germany in the 1980s to describe violent anarchists who dress all in black and descend as a mass (block). The black clothing and masks make them difficult to identify or to distinguish from one another. The movement first spread to the U.S. with the anti-G20 riots, and has remained. Type in “black bloc” on Google or Wikipedia if you want more info.

          1. I can’t disagree with you. My only point is that the phrase when used to describe violent people suggests to those less informed like myself that African-Americans are doing the rioting.

  12. Mayor Arreguin in all likelihood has a personal or hidden agenda. I don’t trust this man at all.

  13. Isaac who posts here gave the Berkeley Mayor this idea. You go, Isaac! More great progressive wisdom!

    Isaac, if Trump is dumber than dirt like you say, how do you qualify this Mayor’s intelligence?

    You might want to rethink this idea…but then again, no, please keep it up, right through the 2018 mid terms and 2020 election.

  14. Fwiw, a few months ago when Arrequinn became mayor it came out he is a member of By Any Means Necessary… a pretty militant bunch who, from what I have read, espouse violence.

    Neither he nor Nancy Pelosi is able to make much sense and Nancy mostly gets very confused about simple things

    She managed to get
    herself quite muddled over 1st Amendment, the ruling about fire in a theatre (her unique take on it) and somehow she also tossed in “the boy who cried wolf”… it was quite the mushy mess. LOL

    1. She’s 77 years old and God knows what the downstream effects of Botox use are.

      1. There are many anecdotal reports of Botox brain, and the toxin definitely spreads from face to brain. In her age cohort, though, it is tough to separate age-related brain atrophy and its sequelae from potential Botox- induced confusion. Plus, she’s naturally stupid.

    1. I would rather the police do their jobs and maintain order, rather than standing around passively watching while ANTIFA thugs attack and beat people who are merely exercising their right to freedom of speech. The mayor should order the police and county sheriffs to arrest anyone who engages in violence, and call out the CA National Guard if necessary to control and arrest the “black block” anarchists who are growing bolder and more violent due to the passivity of the police and politicians.

    2. There you are correct David and in Charlottesville the police should have seperated the opposing parties and arrested anyone from Antifa, BLM, KKK etc. that was promoting violence or acting in a violent fashion.

      Somehow I don’t think that is the type of violence you want the police to protect against.

  15. The left is alive and well in Berkekey. God forbid the police actually do their jobs and defend the Constitution..

      1. To defend the constitution is an absolutely bog standard component of any oath of office for a public official. IIRC, it was incorporated into the oath a notary had to sign in New York.


        Peace Officer Oath of Office, State of California
        Peace Officer Oath of Office, State of California

        PEACE OFFICER OATH OF OFFICE, State of California
        California Constution Article 20, Sec. 3. Misc. Subjects
        [Required Oath of Office ]

        ” I, ___________________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.

        1. So much for the accuracy of any opinions arising from David B. Benson. It appears he makes things up to confirm his crazy statements.

        2. Just to further clarify, the text so considerately supplied by curri above is exactly the same as that found on the City of Berkeley website.

      1. David, Forget the oath whatever it says. Read the law and pay attention to the Constitutional amendments such as free speech and in particular the 14th amendment (incorporation).

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