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The Latest: Ann Coulter a no-show at rally in Berkeley

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/27/2017
A demonstrator raises a U.S. flag Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) © The Associated Press A demonstrator raises a U.S. flag Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Ann Coulter's canceled appearance at UC Berkeley (all times local):

Demonstrator gather Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) © The Associated Press Demonstrator gather Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

4:40 p.m.

Daryl Tempesta protests with tape over his mouth on Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Jocelyn Gecker) © The Associated Press Daryl Tempesta protests with tape over his mouth on Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Jocelyn Gecker)

A rally in support of Ann Coulter has wrapped up in Berkeley, and the conservative provocateur did not make an appearance despite hints from her and hopes from supporters that she might.

Demonstrators gear up for potential street battles Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) © The Associated Press Demonstrators gear up for potential street battles Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A handful of right-wing protesters milled around Thursday afternoon, and a small group of left-wing protesters gathered nearby. But there has so far been none of the violence or destruction that marked similar gatherings in recent months.

Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, the rally's final speaker, read some of the speech Coulter intended to give and called her a hero who was censored and betrayed.

Police in riot gear are set to remain in the area and on alert if more a heated protest breaks out.

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2:50 p.m.

Hundreds of far-right protesters, some dressed in goggles, gas masks and knee pads, are rallying in support of conservative speaker Ann Coulter in downtown Berkeley.

Some at the rally in downtown Berkeley are wearing combat gear, including military grade ballistic helmets and body armor.

Dozens of police in riot gear stand ready to crack down on violence if it erupts.

Many of the protesters have "Build That Wall" or "Trump" stickers across their helmets and several are concealing their identities wearing mirrored ski goggles over their eyes.

So far, there's no sign of opponents, or so-called anti-fascists who have violently clashed with the far-right demonstrators previously in Berkeley.

Police have arrested four people at demonstrations on and near the campus related to a canceled Coulter speech.

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2:25 p.m.

Police have arrested four people as demonstrations continue near the University of California, Berkeley campus involving a canceled speech by commentator Ann Coulter.

Berkeley police Officer Byron White said Thursday that two people were arrested in the city; one for a drug violation and another for possessing a weapon.

University police made two additional arrests for obstructing an officer and wearing a mask to evade police, and another for possessing a knife.

Signs posted around the courtyard list 25 items that are banned, ranging from explosive devices and weapons to balls, skateboards, e-cigarettes and signs.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered near the campus and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters.

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12:20 p.m.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters.

The rally Thursday ended peacefully and another was set later in the day.

Several dozen police officers surrounded Sproul Plaza on the campus and refused to let protesters enter.

The officers were clad in riot gear and carrying 40 mm launchers that shoot "foam batons" in case of violence.

Earlier, police mobilized on motorbikes, in armored trucks and on foot for possible violence at the rallies over Coulter's canceled appearance at the university.

Coulter says she might still show up to say hello to supporters.

Police and university officials have said they were bracing for trouble whether or not she decides to show.

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11:55 a.m.

A few dozen supporters of President Donald Trump and conservative commentator Ann Coulter converged on a park in downtown Berkeley for a peaceful gathering as two dozen police officers looked on.

Holding American flags and wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, the participants talked with each other and reporters on Thursday.

There were no speeches or demonstrations at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park during the first of several events and rallies planned throughout the day.

Earlier, police mobilized on motorbikes, in armored trucks and on foot for possible violence at the rallies over Coulter's canceled appearance at the University of California campus in the city.

Coulter says she might still show up to say hello to supporters.

Police and university officials have said they were bracing for trouble whether or not she decides to show.

___

11 a.m.

Police in Berkeley are mobilizing on motorbikes, in armored trucks and on foot for possible violence at rallies and protests over Ann Coulter's canceled appearance at the California city's university.

Far-right supporters are planning rallies Thursday to denounce what they claim is an attempt to silence their conservative views. A counterprotest by a socialist group also is planned.

Past rallies by the two sides have descended into bloodshed.

City police are preparing at Civic Center Park near campus. San Francisco Bay Area station KTVU reports (http://bit.ly/2pqjmmm ) that they have removed signs throughout the park with graphic images in support of Milo Yiannopoulos, another conservative commentator whose speech at UC Berkeley was canceled earlier this year.

The university's officers also are out in force, setting up barricades to the school's main plaza and posting signs warning that weapons are prohibited on campus.

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9:10 a.m.

The International Socialist Organization says it will hold an "Alt Right Delete" rally in downtown Berkeley to show support for free speech and to condemn the views of conservative commentator Ann Coulter and her supporters.

Thursday's rally at noon comes as Gavin McInnes, founder of the pro-Trump "Proud Boys" has said he will speak in the afternoon at Berkeley's Civic Center Park.

He is encouraging similar groups to show up for gathering.

Another group called the Orange County Alt Right Group is planning a morning rally in the same place.

Coulter's planned speech at University of California, Berkeley, was canceled and police are preparing for possible violence by the groups with opposing political views.

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8:20 a.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union's national legal director says "unacceptable threats of violence" that led to the cancellation of Ann Coulter's speech at the University of California, Berkeley are inconsistent with free speech principles that protect people from government overreach.

David Cole says hateful speech has consequences especially for people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants and others who have been historically marginalized.

But Cole said late Wednesday the government cannot define threats to free speech because that could result in censorship.

Though Coulter's speech at UC Berkeley was canceled, far-right supporters were planning rallies Thursday to denounce what they claim is an attempt to silence their conservative views.

Police are preparing for violent outbreaks between militant factions on both sides.

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7:05 a.m.

Ann Coulter's speech at University of California, Berkeley, has been canceled, but far-right supporters plan to hold a rally Thursday to denounce what they claim is an attempt to silence their conservative views.

KCBS reports (http://cbsloc.al/2qiK5yi ) that university police are preparing for violent outbreaks between militant factions on both sides. The speech was canceled over fears of violence.

Gavin McInnes, founder of the pro-Trump "Proud Boys," says he will speak at 2 p.m. at Berkeley's Civic Center Park and is encouraging other alt-right groups to make a large showing at the gathering.

Coulter says that despite the cancellation of her speech, she might at some point still "swing by to say hello" to her supporters.

Police and university officials say they are bracing for possible trouble, citing intelligence and online chatter by groups threatening to instigate violence.

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12:02 a.m.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter says that while her speech at the University of California, Berkeley was canceled, she may still show up to say hello to her supporters.

Police and university officials say they're bracing for trouble Thursday whether or not she decides to show.

They say intelligence and online chatter by groups threatening to instigate violence over the acid-tongued Coulter has them on edge.

Coulter said in an email to The Associated Press that she might stroll across campus to greet supporters and "stroll around the graveyard of the First Amendment."

University officials canceled the speech for fear violence would break out. They offered the college Republicans, who had invited Coulter, a different date and venue for the speech, but were turned down.

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