Confusing turns over status of Free Speech Week at Cal


Confusing turns over status of Free Speech Week at Cal

Although several media outlets reported Friday that the Berkeley Patriot had canceled Free Speech Week, Berkeley Patriot editor in chief Mike Wright said in a text message Friday that the event was still on.

The Berkeley Patriot student organization is cancelling all events for "Free Speech Week," according to UC Berkeley's administration.

"I've just been told that student group the Berkeley Patriot, under pressure from the administration, is withdrawing its sponsorship of Free Speech Week", Yiannopoulos wrote in an email Saturday morning.

Mogulof hit back at that notion, saying, "Claims that this is somehow the outcome desired by the campus are without basis in fact". On Tuesday, the Berkeley Patriot filed a civil rights complaint against UC Berkeley administration for allegedly suppressing the organization's First Amendment rights.

While Yiannopoulos and Berkeley Patriot have repeatedly blamed the school for putting up roadblocks, school officials pointed to a recent peaceful appearance by the conservative writer Ben Shapiro as evidence the school supports all student events and said the organizers missed a host of deadlines to secure indoor venues for the speakers.

University officials are denouncing the idea that they wanted these events to be cancelled. Some of the headline speakers, including Ann Coulter, have backed away from the event or said their names were listed as speakers without their knowledge.

Mogulof, however, said Saturday, "We are confident that UCPD would have had the necessary resources in place to provide security for the events".

Campus administrators did not immediately comment publicly on the matter Saturday, but representatives for the school previously said they was preparing for the event despite rumors of its cancellation. Milo Yiannopoulos shared an update Saturday in what he called "an emergency Facebook Live press conference" around noon. On Instagram, he had urged followers to join him in a march through campus on Sunday.