Ann Coulter cancels Berkeley speech after conservative sponsors back out

I’m just asking you to try to see how these things look from across the aisle.

You said they said things that can be construed as advocating for violence. Presumably, some people do not construe the statements that way. I’m asking you to consider things from the perspective of those people.

It’s simply a fact that a lot of people are suspicious of left wing politics, and when left wing protests get violent and then left wing people justify that violence, they become more suspicious.

Morally, you could be entirely in the right. I don’t really want to argue morals because there is no rock to stand on in those debates. But in terms of tactics this sort of stuff is very counterproductive if you’re trying to win people to your side.

I think you mean “tenuous”.

Fight strenuously, but not dirty. Fight strenuously, but fairly. Otherwise, you’re no longer the good guy. Seems reasonable enough to me.

I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intention. What specifically strikes you as talking down so I can avoid in the future?


From UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s message today. “Groups and individuals from the extreme ends of the political spectrum have made clear their readiness and intention to utilize violent tactics in support or in protest of certain speakers at UC Berkeley. In early February, a speaker’s presence on campus ignited violent conflict and significant damage to campus property. In March, political violence erupted on the streets of Berkeley. In April opposing groups again violently clashed on the edge of our campus. While some seem inclined to use these events and circumstances to draw attention to themselves, we remain focused on the needs, rights, and interests of our students and our community. We cannot wish away or pretend that these threats do not exist.”

April’s free speech "event’ turned into a brawl in the middle of downtown Berkeley. Many people advocated for and brought weapons. I don’t think this is as simple as saying that protestors need to prevent their protests from being hijacked because how exactly would they do that? Hire a private security firm? UCPD had credible threats of violence around this event.

1 Like

If someone starts getting violent, peaceful protesters could (for example) form a circle around them, take videos, and call the police.

Edit: And announce that this will happen as part of organizing the protest. Make black blocs feel unwelcome. Exclude them. Don’t make excuses.

The police were already there. Videos were taken. Announcements were made.

More photos here:


Perhaps she has a new book to promote? I’ve thought all along that there was a bit of PR stunt smell to this.


True. However, no-one is required to give her a venue – that includes a state school like UC Berkeley.* Especially if she has a long history of regularly and gleefully calling for her right-wing admirers to express themselves with violence against left-wing protestors. The Berkeley administration’s concerns were over campus safety and an appropriate lecture hall – those things and not their disagreement with her conservative views are what got her shut down.

[* which offered her an alternate date after the sponsoring conservative student org backed out]


Yes, off campus Black Bloc members were involved in the Milo protests. But I wasn’t referring to just that. Pro-Trump and anti-Trump groups have clashed in violence also recently. It seems like you’re trying to make something out of political affiliations of people who have been violent, but the violence is the concern, not the political standpoints.

They didn’t say who the threats of violence came from. It’s quite possible that it wasn’t from students. It could be the Black Bloc members again. I might be wrong though. Do you have a citation to support your assertion?

Of course they shouldn’t. I haven’t seen anyone justify that. But when there is the potential for violence and the institution doesn’t think it can protect people, you don’t just throw up your hands and let people get hurt.

You’re assigning the role of the police to the university. It’s not required to hold protesters responsible for violence. That’s for law enforcement. And you’re ignoring that they were willing to reschedule the event. They didn’t say she couldn’t speak. They said nothing about the content of her speech or her political opinions.

The left isn’t a unified, uniform group. It’s composed of diverse people with diverse perspectives. Some believe violence is necessary to counter the rise of fascism. Some don’t. Not everyone considers antifa productive or “allies.” So arguing against this melodramatic grandstanding by Coulter isn’t necessarily defending the Black Bloc or supporting violence. This isn’t a free speech issue when you look at the details of the situation. Coulter and the Republican pundits are just trying score political points. And saying that it is a free speech issue without looking at the details means that you’re helping her look like a martyr over a non-issue.


Let’s be clear here - the university isn’t blocking her from speaking there. The student group invited her for a day which, it turned out, no appropriate speaking venue was available. When the university offered an appropriate space a week later, Coulter and the College Republicans threw hissy fits and refused. She threatened to show up on the original date and speak anyways, regardless of the lack of venue. Her backers decided perhaps that wasn’t a great idea and rescinded the invitation. The university was still offering a space for her on a different day, and point out that it’s not the university’s fault if the inviting group made the agreement with her before they confirmed there actually was a space available on that date.

In the sense that they unambiguously advocated violence against others and then, at some later date pretended it was satire or some shit (while continuing to advocate the same things in a serious tone). “It’s satire” is the new fascist “get out of jail” card - white supremacy sites now fall back on that as an attempt to avoid legal trouble when singling out Jews that they suggest people should go after - so it’s not exactly a credible excuse for statements fully in line with stated views.


Ugh, you’re still fighting the hypothesis. You’re going out of your way not to empathize with how someone with different politics would view the situation. I give up. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.


This is batshit crazy. If someone is being violent at a protest I’m attending, the most I’ll do is leave. I’m not stepping in front of or confronting much less surrounding a person who is ready to commit violence. Either you’re really shortsighted and impractical in your suggestions or you’re actually wanting people to get hurt.

Protesters shouldn’t have to fight violent people. That’s not a stipulation of their free speech rights. Violence is the realm of law enforcement. And it doesn’t matter if Breitbart commenters on the other side of the country see that as a tacit approval of violence on the part of the protesters.


Her student-group sponsors withdrew, so she’s not going to collect her $20,000 fee. In lieu of that sweet check she’s opting to PR the shit out of this.


Ah. I see. Thank you for the clarification.

1 Like

Or her supporters shooting people.

1 Like

So who picks up the tab for the repairs?

I used to knew a few people in the anti-fa/Black Bloc crowd, and they tended to make a distinction between breaking things and hurting people. Breaking things is generally seen as OK, whereas hurting people isn’t. However, the movement is made of people and they don’t all have the same agendas some might be OK with violence against people. I also haven’t had much contact with those folks in 15+ years and movements do change. Maybe the US movement is taking hints from the European anti-fa and fascist movements where they actually murder each other.


Where is your username? It’s very strange that I can start a reply, and find out who you are, and then manually go to your profile, but I can’t click your avatar / username to get there.

Maybe there’s a meta thread where I should be asking this, instead of here.

(I agree with you, by the way.)

[ETA] I was replying to the trashcan icon, above. Discourse is screwed up – definitely going to take this to meta.

1 Like

Then why did you write this?



Her large conservative organization that been funding these type of speaker events nationally withdrew. I don’t know if the Berkeley College Republicans had much to say about it. (They claim to be the largest political group on campus. I don’t know if that’s likely and their Facebook doesn’t seem that big.)

Edit: Hit my monthly NYT limit, but I see Berkeley College Republicans join in the cancel later. It’s not like they were going to pay the speakers fee, insurance, venue, etc.