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Ann Coulter Cancels Berkeley Speech Amid Protests: ‘Free Speech Crushed by Thugs’

Variety logo Variety 4/26/2017 Maane Khatchatourian
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“It’s a sad day for free speech,” Ann Coulter said after canceling her planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away,” she told the New York Times on Wednesday after conservative groups, including Berkeley College Republicans, which was supposed to sponsor her visit, dropped their support.

Coulter had initially insisted that she would attend the event, despite violent protests, even when the UC campus canceled her appearance — set to take place on Thursday — amid safety concerns, then rescheduled it for a later date next month, at a time when the campus would be less crowded.

Young America’s Foundation, which was helping Coulter file a civil rights lawsuit against the school, also backed out of the event on Tuesday night, saying, “Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students.”

“It’s sickening when a radical thuggish institution like Berkeley can so easily snuff out the cherished American right to free speech,” Coulter wrote in a series of tweets. She also tweeted that “free speech [was] crushed by thugs.”

The campus erupted in violence in February when another conservative commentator, Milo Yiannopoulos, planned to appear. The university has been at the epicenter of several clashes between Democrats and Republicans, which were sparked by Donald Trump’s election as president.

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