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5 Reactions to the Cancellation of Ann Coulter's Berkeley Speech

5 Reactions to the Cancellation of Ann Coulter's Berkeley Speech

4. FIRE

A vandalized Bank of America office is seen after a student protest turned violent at UC Berkeley during a demonstration over gay conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, editor of Breitbart, who was forced to cancel his talk, in Berkeley, California, February 1, 2017. | (Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam)

The bipartisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education denounced the decision to stop the speech, arguing that the cancellation "establishes a genuinely dangerous precedent."

"Granting those willing to use violence the power to determine who may speak on campus is an abdication of UC Berkeley's moral and legal responsibilities under the First Amendment," stated FIRE on Wednesday.

"UC Berkeley must be properly prepared to host and protect speakers of all stripes. FIRE also calls for UC Berkeley's promised investigation to go forward with thoroughness and transparency, and that its findings be made public without delay."

FIRE also drew a parallel to the violent protests earlier this year at Berkeley that prompted a cancellation of a speech by controversial rightwing personality Milo Yiannopoulos.

"In the wake of the violence at UC Berkeley on Feb. 1, we ... counseled patience, given that UC Berkeley professed to have been caught off-guard and that it promised an investigation into what happened," continued FIRE.

"Nearly two months later, and after multiple incidents of political violence in the adjoining City of Berkeley, the university still appears to be unprepared to ensure the safety of a controversial speaker, attendees, or peaceful protesters."

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