President Trump Tweeted early Thursday that if schools like University of California, Berkeley, do not allow free speech, it may cost them federal funding.
He Tweeted in answer to vicious protests that started in reaction to a planned talk on campus Wednesday by Milo Yiannopoulos, a rather controversial Breitbart News editor. Due to the protests, the talk had to be cancelled.
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 (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Two hours before the event was going to take place it was cancelled. A crowd of more than 1,500 had gathered outside the venue, the university said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the University said, “Of paramount importance this evening was the campus’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of those attending the event, the speaker, those who came to engage in lawful protest, as well as members of the public and the Berkeley campus community.”
Milo Yiannopoulos, a 32-year-old right-wing speaker is a verbal supporter of President Donald Trump and a self-proclaimed internet troll. His comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist.
Yiannopoulos denies these allegations emphatically.
He was banned from Twitter after leading a harassment campaign against “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.
The Republican club sponsored Yiannopoulos’ visit to Berkeley. The university has made it clear that it did not invite him and does not endorse his ideas but is steadfast on free speech and discarded calls to cancel the event.
Hours before the event was scheduled, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators holding signs that read “Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech” had been protesting.
A small group dressed in black and hooded sweatshirts, in the evening, started to get very violent and used metal barricades to break windows and they threw smoke bombs and flares and used a diesel generator to start a large bonfire outside the building.
UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennet said, “This was a group of agitators who were masked up, throwing rocks, commercial grade fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers.”
So, protestors can spew their hate but speakers cannot be heard?