CALIFORNIA: Ann Coulter Cancels Berkeley Speech After Sponsors Back Out Over Fears Of Violence

The New York Times reports:

Ann Coulter said Wednesday that she is canceling her planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley, because she had lost the backing of conservative groups that had initially sponsored her appearance. Ms. Coulter, in a message to The New York Times, said, “It’s a sad day for free speech.”

Despite insisting that she would go to Berkeley regardless — even after the university said it could not accommodate her on the date and time it had initially scheduled her because of threats of violence — Ms. Coulter said she did not see how she could go forward. The school said she could speak only at a later date and an earlier time of day, when there were likely to be fewer students on campus and less of a likelihood for violent outbreaks.

Late on Tuesday, the conservative group that was helping Ms. Coulter in her legal efforts to force Berkeley to host her, Young America’s Foundation, said it could no longer participate. “Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students,” the group said.

More from the Los Angeles Times:

A UC Berkeley spokesman said the campus had received no word on Coulter’s plans — either from her or from those groups who offered to host her visit. “The threats she mentions in her new message to the New York Times are the exact reason we want her to come on a day when a protectable venue is available,” said spokesman Dan Mogulof. “We have always been concerned for her safety.”

On the heels of three violent clashes this year between extreme left and right groups, administrators sought at first to cancel, then delay Coulter’s appearance. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks released a public statement Wednesday that attributed the risk of mayhem and free speech challenges “to outside groups.”

“This is a University, not a battlefield,” Dirks said in the statement. “The strategies necessary to address these evolving threats are also evolving, but the simplistic view of some — that our police department can simply step in and stop violent confrontations whenever they occur — ignores reality.”

Earlier this month a right wing group, backed by self-professed Nazis and white supremacists, held a pro-Trump rally in Berkeley where violent clashes with anti-fascist protesters resulted. Exactly as had been planned.