Berkeley Student Group Invites Bannon, Coulter and Yiannopoulos to Campus

They were all asked to speak this September by the group California Patriot.

August 24, 2017 9:57 am
Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos announces his resignation from Brietbart News during a press conference, February 21, 2017 in New York City. After comments he made regarding pedophilia surfaced in an online video, Yiannopoulos was uninvited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and lost a major book deal with Simon & Schuster. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News executive and former White House chief strategist, have been invited by a student group to speak this September at the University of California at Berkeley.

Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for the university, confirmed to the Chronicle of Higher Education that the student group, California Patriot, had invited the speakers for a series of events from September 24 to 27. The new chancellor, Carol Christ, also said in a statement that Yiannopoulos was invited to speak.

“The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal,” she said in her statement, according to The Chronicle. “If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.”

The university is known as the “birthplace of the free-speech movement” on college campuses after protests erupted and turned violent when Yiannopoulos was invited in February.

People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley
People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos burn trash and cardboard in the street on February 1, 2017, in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was canceled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Mogulof said that the university is worried given the outbreak of violence last time Yiannopoulos was invited to campus, but that it was important the university host the event, even though it will be “deeply upsetting” for some people.

Coulter has also previously been invited to speak, but her planned speech was canceled after safety concerns. In a similar vein, at least four universities have refused to host white nationalist Richard B. Spencer, citing security risks in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month.

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