After Milo Yiannopoulos Event Is Canceled at UC Berkeley, Trump Hints He'll Cut Federal Funding to the School
Milo Yiannopoulos, senior editor for Breitbart News and a blatant racist and misogynist, was shut out of his UC Berkeley talk when over 1,000 protesters showed up, including a few violent agitators.
"This was a group of agitators who were masked up, throwing rocks, commercial-grade fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers," said UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennet. Dressed in hooded sweatshirts, the rambunctious group broke windows and threw smoke bombs. By this time, police decided to cancel the 500-seat sold-out event.
"I have been evacuated from the UC Berkeley campus after violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building," Yiannopoulos said soon after. "My team and I are safe. But the event has been canceled."
Yiannopoulos promised to let his followers know more "when the facts become clear."
"One thing we do know for sure: the left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down,” he added.
The following morning, Donald Trump weighed in on the protests, hinting he may cut federal funding from public colleges infringing on free speech.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486033993.0
However, UC students were not responsible for the violence, and the university doubled down on its support for free speech in a statement issued late Wednesday.
"Campus officials added that they regret that the threats and unlawful actions of a few have interfered with the exercise of First Amendment rights on a campus that is proud of its history and legacy as the home of the Free Speech Movement," the statement read.
The statement also addressed continued questions about the liberal university's decision to host the event in the first place.
"In an earlier message to the Berkeley campus community, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks made it clear that while Yiannopoulos’ views, tactics and rhetoric are profoundly contrary to those of the campus, UC Berkeley is bound by the Constitution, the law and the university’s values and Principles of Community, which include the enabling of free expression across the full spectrum of opinion and perspective," said the public affairs department.
Many students at the protest made it clear that the agitators did not represent their views.
"It's just absolutely horrific what's going on," Pranav Jandhyala, a student at the university, told the Associated Press Wednesday night in an interview from the campus. "It's horrible, it's disgusting what's going on right now. It's one thing to protest someone's right to come here and speak, but it's another thing to create this much destruction and violence and hurt and harm people."
UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof also weighed in, calling the violence "deplorable."
"What's really unfortunate tonight is that the violent actions of a very few interfered with the desires of the many to participate in legal and lawful protest," he said.
"It's not a proud day for this campus, the home of the free speech movement," Mogulof added.