Violent Protesters at UC Berkeley Force Yiannopoulos Speech Cancellation

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Violent protests at UC Berkeley forced a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos to be canceled on Wednesday evening. Protesters threw anything from rocks to molotov cocktails and caused substantial property damage. Yiannopoulos and his team were evacuated safely. This marks the second time in two weeks that Berkeley officials have canceled one of his speeches due to violent protests. As of Thursday, no arrests have been confirmed

The event was canceled two hours before Yiannopoulos was set to speak. Over 1,500 people had gathered outside of the venue. Protesters threw objects, set off fireworks, and tore down barricades.

“This is not a proud night for this campus, the home of the free speech movement,” said Dan Mogulof, a Berkeley spokesman. He noted that the vandalism interfered with the ability of the hosting group Berkeley College Republicans to exercise their 1st Amendment rights.

UC Davis interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter was “deeply disappointed” by the protests and the cancellation. He also noted his worry that external groups were using his campus to cause conflicts meant for the national stage.

Police engaged protesters as the campus was placed on lock down. Authorities ordered protesters a number of times to leave the area, threatening them with arrest. The majority of the group disobeyed the order.

An image of a power generator pushed over by protesters, causing a dangerous fire.

As the night continued, protesters knocked over a power generator connected to a flood light, causing the machine to catch fire.

The crowd had shrunk by 8:00 p.m. and moved from the campus into the streets. Some demonstrators bashed ATMs. Other photos show broken windows at many businesses.

The demonstration proceeded to stop traffic as they continued to march on the streets, when a driver plowed into the crowd. A demonstrator held on to the vehicle for a short time before rolling off uninjured.

Another bystander was hurt by the protesters. Bryan Quintana, 29, delivers food for a nearby restaurant. He was in a car near the marching protesters when he was hit and pepper-sprayed by some of the protesters.

“I was driving really slow. And somebody hit my car and somebody hit my arm, and hit my head,” Quintana said. His eyes were red and his arm was swollen.

 

The university has ignored calls to cancel Yiannopoulos’ talks thus far. Administration received hundreds of letters weeks before the event, demanding that the university prevent him from speaking. One letter argued that his talk could be canceled due to his actions — which they labeled as “harassment, slander, defamation and hate speech” — violated UC Berkeley’s code of conduct.

President Trump voiced his opinion on the matter over Twitter.

 

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