Ann Coulter a no-show at raucous but peaceful Berkeley rally

Coulter said she might still visit Berkeley, long a bastion of liberal student activism, to meet with supporters on Thursday, the day she was originally slated to speak, but would not deliver an address on campus.

The conservative commentator said that the University of California, Berkeley canceled her event. Many of Coulter's supporters who showed up to the protest were wearing ballistic helmets with pro-Donald Trump stickers and other protective gear since they were anticipating violence.

Coulter told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Thursday that Berkeley claimed the threat of violence is what led to the cancellation, but she's not buying it. Civic Center Park, a city park several blocks from the campus.

A demonstrator wears a helmet and mask during a rally Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters.

"I live in Berkeley, like I said earlier". "Berkeley College Republicans do not want to endanger people's lives so because of the university's unwillingness to do their job we are forced to cancel the event", Troy Worden, president of the campus Republicans, said Wednesday.

"Both sides are so intolerant of each other".

"This university is not a battlefield", he says.

"This is clear censorship and it does not stand under the First Amendment", she said. Despite the still looming threat of riots, both ABC and CBS made a decision to move on from the free speech controversy.

"This is not about free speech".

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Tensions mounted as the rally ended and a group of at least 100 anti-Trump demonstrators emerged to confront a roughly equal number of pro-Trump, pro-Coulter protesters in front of Berkeley High School, adjacent to the park.

Among the leftists, the International Socialist Organization was planning to hold an "Alt Right Delete" news conference on campus, saying it hoped to oppose "the very real threat posed by the political right wing, which is growing emboldened from the White House to the streets of Berkeley".

On social media, however, many in the anarchist and antifascist camps pointed to Coulter's cancellation as proof their use of violence as a tool works. Correspondent Tom Llamas framed it as sparking a "debate" between "freedom of speech vs the safety of students". Antifascist and anarchist protesters turned a crowd of students protesting Yiannopoulos into a violent mob, breaking windows and setting fires, and police advised university officials to cancel his speech.

The university's officers also are out in force, setting up barricades to the school's main plaza and posting signs warning that weapons are prohibited on campus.

Coulter previously said she was forced to cancel a speaking event at the University of California, Berkeley, although she added that she might still "swing by to say hello" to her supporters, prompting police and university officials to brace for possible trouble.

Coulter was invited to speak by campus Republicans, who also had invited right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous to speak in February.

And in March and April, opposing groups from the far-right and far-left skirmished violently near campus.

Lauren Southern, a Canadian speaker, referred to the clashes with other protesters as "battles" between her supporters, who called themselves "Patriots" and groups like Antifa.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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