Ann Coulter invited to speak at UC Berkeley

AP Photo

(KRON) Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has been invited back to speak at U.C. Berkeley on May 2 just two days after a speaking engagement next week on the campus was canceled.

The Berkeley College Republicans will host the event with approval from campus officials but with restrictions.

Coulter will only be allowed to speak during the afternoon unlike a previous event that was scheduled for evening hours.

On Tuesday the school canceled Coulter’s appearance on campus for security reasons.

University of California, Berkeley officials say they have a “grave concern” of violence on campus if Ann Coulter follows through on her threat to speak next week on campus

No word if Coulter will accept the invitation.

From U.C.Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks:

This university has an unwavering commitment to the First Amendment of the Constitution, which enshrines and protects the right of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. As the home of the Free Speech Movement, we fully support the right and ability of our students to host speakers of their choice, and we believe that exposing students to a diverse array of perspectives is an inherent and inseparable part of our educational mission.

We also have an unwavering commitment to providing for the safety and well-being of speakers who come to campus, our students and other members of our campus and surrounding communities.

While there may, at times, be a tension between these two paired commitments, we cannot compromise on either. In that context, Ms. Coulter’s announcement that she intends to come to this campus on April 27 without regard for the fact that we don’t have a protectable venue available on that date is of grave concern. Our police department has made it clear that they have very specific intelligence regarding threats that could pose a grave danger to the speaker, attendees and those who may wish to lawfully protest the event. At the same time, we respect and support Ms. Coulter’s own First Amendment rights.

Given our serious reservations and concerns regarding Ms. Coulter’s stated intentions, last night I asked my staff to look beyond the usual venues we use for large public gatherings to see if there might be a protectable space for this event that would be available during the compressed, and extremely busy, window of time between now and the end of the academic year.

Fortunately, that expanded search identified an appropriate, protectable venue that is available on the afternoon of May 2. While it is not one we have used for these sorts of events in the past, it can both accommodate a substantial audience and meet the security criteria established by our police department. Earlier today, we informed both the Berkeley College Republicans and the Coulter organization of this development, and we look forward to working with them. We will disclose the exact location of the venue once we have finalized details with both organizations.

In a previous incident at Berkeley, University of California Campus Police have released several photos of suspects allegedly involved in a variety crimes committed earlier this month during a protest against far-right writer and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.

According to university officials, the protests on Feb. 1 caused more than $100,000 in damage to the University of California at Berkeley campus, not counting more than a dozen businesses that were vandalized in the city’s downtown area and Telegraph corridor.

Campus police are working closely with the City of Berkley Police Department to identify the individuals responsible for the extensive damage.

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