Conservative pundit, Ann Coulter, announced today that she would cancel her speaking engagement at Berkeley after the sponsor of the event pulled their backing.
Ms. Coulter, in a message to The New York Times, said, “It’s a sad day for free speech.”
A few days ago, the University reversed course on the initial booking and said it would only be able to host her on a different day and at an earlier time. They decided her visit would cause less uproar if fewer students were on campus when she spoke after threats of violence were reported.
Ms. Coulter decided that she would move forward with her engagement despite these threats. She was in the process of pursuing legal action to force the University to host her; even saying she would speak outside if necessary, taking a stand for free speech.
The NY Times reported:
Late on Tuesday, the conservative group that was helping Ms. Coulter in her legal efforts to force Berkeley to host her, Young America’s Foundation, said it could no longer participate. “Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students,” the group said.
Without any support, Ms. Coulter said, she was left with little choice. “Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away,” she said.
In February, the University came under fire after a protest over Milo Yianopolis’ visit turned violent. Two weeks ago, the Chief of Police sent a letter to the Berkely City Council outlining the need for enhanced security and resources to keep the peace during Coulter’s visit.
“Intervention requires a major commitment of resources, a significant use of force, and carries with it the strong likelihood of harming those who are not committing a crime,” he wrote.