The fight for free speech continues at UC Berkeley. On his Facebook page, conservative provocateur and former Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoulos recently announced that he will return to the university to hold an event to promote freedom of expression. He writes:
In light of recent controversies, I am planning a huge multi-day event called MILO’S FREE SPEECH WEEK in Berkeley later this year. We will hold talks and rallies and throw massive parties, all in the name of free expression and the First Amendment. All will be welcome, regardless of political affiliation.
Free speech has never been more under threat in America — especially at the supposed home of the free speech movement. I will bring activists, writers, artists, politicians, YouTubers, veterans and drag queens from across the ideological spectrum to lecture, march, and party.
Yiannopoulous has not yet released the dates of the multi-day event.
Anticipating resistance from the institution, Yiannopoulos stated that if UC Berkeley is not interested in assisting in the planning of the event, he “will extend festivities to an entire month.” The speaker intends to establish a tent city in Sproul Plaza to protest “the university’s total dereliction of its duty and encourage students at other universities to follow suit.”
The last time Yiannopoulos visited the campus to speak, activists engaged in violent demonstrations. During the protests, leftist agitators set fires, destroyed property, and attacked Milo’s supporters. The disorder became so intense that Yiannopoulos had to cancel his presentation. In the same month, a controversial video featuring the speaker surfaced. In the video, Yiannopoulos appears to defend pedophilia and downplay the rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Due to the backlash, he resigned from his position as editor at Breitbart news and lost his $250,000 book deal.
Yiannopoulos’ announcement comes in the wake of author and speaker Ann Coulter’s current conflict with the leftist institution, which canceled her presentation scheduled for April 27. In response, Coulter stated that she would still speak there regardless of their cancellation notice. UC Berkeley then “reinstated” the event after imposing stringent conditions on Ms. Coulter.
The left’s attacks on the first amendment should not come as a surprise; indeed, they have been hard at work in their effort to stifle conservatives voices for decades. They have prevented conservatives from speaking on college campuses. They physically attacked supporters of President Donald Trump at rallies. Some liberals are even calling for the government to regulate political discourse. By completely ignoring the rights provided for Americans under the Constitution, they seek to silence the voices of those who would express opinions contrary to their leftist ideology.
Thankfully, supporters of the first amendment have not allowed the left to intimidate them into silence. They are fighting fiercely to protect their right to state their political views. The anti-free speech movement has not met with much success. However, with a majority of high schoolers believing that we should place limitations on the first amendment, we must remain vigilant. It falls to Americans on both sides of the political divide to repudiate any entity that would restrict our right to speak our minds.
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