Big news: Free speech is allowed in Berkeley

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Last night conservative Ben Shapiro was able to give a speech before about 700 people on the UC-Berkeley campus with no disruptions or violence, mostly due to a major security effort by the city and university.

Outside, as many as 1,000 people were gathered — some protesters, others onlookers — and a group of up to 50 students occupied a breezeway at the ASUC Student Union, where they’d put up a sign, “Students Against Fascism and War,” and interacted with the crowd. They exited the building calmly just before the Zellerbach event ended at 9 p.m. “There’s a sense of relief and satisfaction that the event was able to go forward without disruption, that those who chose to protest did so in largely nonviolent ways and that, overall, things went as well as could be expected,” said UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Dan Mogulof, at a media briefing later that night.

UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett said the event was “orderly,” attended by people who were “respectful and interested” in the speaker and that it concluded peacefully.

Only a few arrests were made, and no violence occurred.

While the success of this event shows progress compared to previous events where violent thugs rioted, it is still damning to California and Berkeley and the liberal/leftist community of Berkeley that we are all surprised that no violence occurred. Instead, the need for security illustrates the intolerance of this community and its willingness to silence dissent.

In two weeks conservatives will be holding a major event on the campus, with a whole slate of speakers. It will be another opportunity for the Berkeley community to show us how tolerant they are to free speech and the open marketplace of ideas.



  • wayne

    Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley
    YAF 9-14-17
    event begins at the 30:00 mark.

  • Wayne: You might notice that I made no mention of Shapiro’s actual speech, since in truth, it doesn’t matter. Freedom of speech only exists if people can speak their mind freely, no matter what they have to say.

  • geoffc

    @Robert – your point is excellent. Sadly, even if an evil bastard wanted to speak, she should be allowed to do so. Skokie IL being the obvious precedent. Ironically the presidents point about Charlotsville… Violence is wrong. Even towards evil bastards. People of good will can protest people they think are evil, if they do it peacefully. It is the violent people who are horrible.

    Although, I think you assume much with the title of the post, that Free Speech is allowed. Allowed under deep protest from Berkley.

  • Citizen Quasar

    I have NEVER looked at Berkeley as an institution favoring free speech or of learning; not in any of my 60 years.

  • wodun

    chose to protest did so in largely nonviolent ways

    I watched live streams of the protesters all night. There was one person who was hospitalized. I couldn’t make out what happened but some sort of physical violence broke out. After the event, someone tried to jump Kyle Chapman or someone next to him but the cops almost instantaneously tackled them. Then the crowd started shouting, “Let him go! Let him go!” and a green capped lawyer rushed in to provide legal services.

    Non-violent protest wasn’t a choice. It was an imposition forced on them by the police and the protesters were not happy about it. They were calling for the police to leave while also berating the cops with some very harsh rhetoric. The only reason there was no large scale organized violence is because the police kept the Democrats away from Shapiro’s audience.

    There is a reason that the DNC media shows long shots of their protests rather than have a mic in the crowd. It would shatter the image of peaceful loving protesters.

    I think the black shirts realized they were getting too much heat, so decided not to show up. In other “protests” they have been happy to battle the cops when they couldn’t go after non-Democrats hosting events. It looks to me like the Democrats told their black shirts to stand down for now.

    Some other take aways, the protesters were convinced that Ben Shapiro is a white nationalist despite being Jewish. One lady even said black people can be white supremacists. She never got round to explaining how but I suspect that anyone who isn’t a Democrat is a white supremacist.

    There was a group of students that occupied one of the nearby buildings to hold a sit in. They wouldn’t leave when asked but as Shapiro’s speech was ending, they wanted to exit the building to go yell at the audience. The police initially wouldn’t let them exit. This caused all kinds of cultish chanting to, “Let them go!”. Eventually the cops let them out in twos and this infuriated the Democrats who thought many more people could fit through a door at the same time.

    After the event, the audience did mingle a bit but any discussion devolved into mindless cult chants.

    Kyle Chapman took numerous photos with asian, black, hispanic, and indian white nationalists (lol).

    The funniest part, it was all comic, was when a speaker told the crowd to tweet a hashtag and she would read their tweets. Instantly, “Wait wait we can’t do that, a bunch of fascists started tweeting at us.”

    Ubiquitous cameras, social media, streaming, and the internet in general are awesome tools to shine light on events as they happen and let people see what is actually going on rather than someone’s characterization of those events. This is why Democrats beat people who show up to stream or cover these protests and why the DNC media works so hard to curate what people see and what they read.

  • wodun

    Berkeley PD is saying the woman hospitalized just “fell down”. This could be true but it is hard to tell. There was a lot of yelling profanities at her and scuffling before she “fell down”.

    After she was taken away by medics, people in the crowd said, “That’s what you get for being a NAZI.”

    She doesn’t look like a white supremacist.

    Check out the rest of their account for mug shots.

  • Cotour

    Finally the police ban the wearing of masks or the carrying of weapons at these extremist protests / rally’s.


    I believe they did the same at Berkeley during the Ben Shapiro talk. Show up at a protest or rally with a mask or some sort of weapon and immediately get yourself arrested.

    Progress, finally. What took them so long? Who figured it out?

  • Cotour

    The real America.

    A Black Lives Matter member is given time to express themselves and speaks at a Trump rally !?! Never happen. This is how we know that under all of the “Hate” and political psychological manipulations that go on in the media and in politics, America is still a place of positive potential where the people have the ability to see through it all and make real change in Washington.

    And this will be the end result, and it is sorely needed, the destruction of both of the corrupt and perverted power abusing political party’s that rule over us all.

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