Tag Archives: University of California Berkeley

CA: Napolitano pledges to uphold UC’s free-speech tradition

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"The University of California will uphold its free-speech tradition by hosting provocateurs such as Milo Yiannopoulos, regardless of their message, unless they resort to personal threats or attacks on audience members, UC President Janet Napolitano says. 'If we at UC unreasonably limit the ability of speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter to safely express themselves on our campuses, we are telling the world that we would accept suppression of our own speech,' Napolitano told a legal conference Friday in Sacramento. She spoke a day after conservative commentator Ben Shapiro gave a speech at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall under heavy security, while several hundred protesters held a rally nearby but were kept from entering the campus. Yiannopoulos, Coulter and another right-wing commentator, Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Trump, are scheduled to appear at UC Berkeley during a four-day event, starting Sept. 24, that sponsors are calling 'Free Speech Week.'" (09/16/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Napolitano-vows-to-uphold-UC-s-free-speech-12202087.php

The bipartisan urge to suppress dissent

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"The University of California at Berkeley's inhospitality to conservative speakers, the subject of a federal lawsuit filed on Monday, prompted a Twitter rebuke from President Trump a few months ago. Yet his administration seems determined to demonstrate that suppression of opposing views is a bipartisan impulse. … the Justice Department is once again looking for a way to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for sharing classified documents with the public. The Obama administration abandoned that project after concluding that charging Assange with violating the Espionage Act would create a precedent that could be used against any news organization that publishes stories based on 'defense information' from sources who obtained or divulged it illegally — a very common journalistic practice. CIA Director Mike Pompeo says we shouldn't worry about that because Assange is not a real journalist, a debatable and constitutionally irrelevant point. The 'freedom of the press' that is guaranteed by the First Amendment is not the freedom of people who work for officially recognized news outlets; it is the freedom to use technologies of mass communication." (04/26/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/04/26/the-bipartisan-urge-to-suppress-dissent

CA: UC Berkeley student Republicans sue over timing of Coulter burlesque

Source: Los Angeles Times

"A UC Berkeley student group on Monday filed a lawsuit demanding that the university allow conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak on campus Thursday as originally planned. Citing unspecified threats, administrators had rescheduled Coulter’s appearance for May 2, when they said they could provide adequate security. But in its free-speech lawsuit, the Berkeley College Republicans — which planned to host Coulter — called that date a 'sham' intended to ensure her address was poorly attended. That day falls during 'dead week,' when students are studying for final exams and the campus traditionally is deserted. The university also had said Coulter would have to speak at midday, in a science hall located away from the central campus, rather than during the evening." (04/24/17)

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-ann-coulter-20170424-story.html

The Un-Free Speech Movement at Berkeley

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

"There are few prospects in life more appealing than the silence of Ann Coulter. She brings to mind what novelist Mary McCarthy said about playwright and Stalinist Lillian Hellman: 'Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the." If the world never suffered another emission from Coulter's toxic brain, it would be a better place. But she said she would speak at the University of California, Berkeley even though the school administration had canceled the speech she was scheduled to give April 27 at the invitation of two student groups. Faced with that challenge, the university changed its mind, sort of, proposing to let her appear May 2. All I can say is something I never thought I would: It will be a great thing for Ann Coulter to speak." (04/24/17)

http://reason.com/archives/2017/04/24/the-un-free-speech-movement-at-berkeley

UC Berkeley declares itself unsafe for Ann Coulter

Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

"[Ann Coulter's] critics would have done well to deny her attention by treating her scheduled appearance with the ambivalent yawn every provocateur most dreads. Instead, they began playing into her hands, situating her appearance in a paradigm where free speech is cast as being in conflict with anti-racism — a wrongheaded frame anathema to civil-rights heroes and marginalized protesters the world over. It guarantees either that bigots like Coulter will be seen by many as occupying a moral high ground, or that free speech will suffer, hitting marginalized groups hardest in the end. Issuing violent threats was, for the left, the most counterproductive of all courses. It generated just the sort of attention Coulter thrives on. And it is remaking Berkeley into a place where the illiberal right can reliably bait the illiberal left into raising their profile." (04/20/17)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/04/uc-berkeley-declares-itself-unsafe-for-ann-coulter/523668/

CA: Berkeley grows some stones, stops appeasing anti-free-speech thugs, reverses Coulter ban

Source: The Guardian [UK]

"The University of California, Berkeley, has announced it has found a new 'protectable venue' for the controversial rightwing speaker Ann Coulter, after initially canceling the event over security fears. At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the university’s chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, said that the school could host Coulter in May at the 'protectable venue.' … The town of Berkeley, famous for its liberal history, has become the center of repeated clashes between far-right figures and leftwing protesters in the last few months." (04/20/17)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/20/ann-coulter-uc-berkeley-event-back-on

A message from FIRE's president: UC Berkeley and the state of free speech on campus

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Greg Lukianoff

"When the riots on Feb. 1 ended a planned speech by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkeley, we condemned the violence. However, we tried to be cautious in our statements about the actions of the Berkeley administration, as it seemed plausible that the campus police were simply overwhelmed by the number of protesters and the intensity and scale of the violence. But in the weeks following the incident, Berkeley appears to have done nothing to prevent events like the Feb. 1 riots from happening again. Since that time, the Berkeley College Republicans’ property has been destroyed, the group cancelled a speech by conservative activist and Berkeley alumnus David Horowitz after the administration threw up numerous roadblocks, and now it has been told that conservative commentator Ann Coulter may not speak as planned due to the danger posed by potentially violent protesters. This is a chilling and dangerous precedent. The Berkeley administration is incentivizing anyone who doesn’t want a particular speaker to be heard to threaten (or even engage in) acts of violence. This all but guarantees that speakers who are controversial on a particular campus will be silenced, and teaches a generation of students that resorting to violence will be rewarded." (04/20/17)

https://www.thefire.org/a-message-from-fires-president-uc-berkeley-and-the-state-of-free-speech-on-campus/

CA: UC Berkeley administration, desperate to appease Antifa jackboots, cancels Coulter harangue

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"Next week’s scheduled speech by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter at UC Berkeley is off — for now — because campus officials say they won’t be able to protect participants from rioting if it should happen. 'We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter,' vice chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton emailed the student groups co-hosting the event — the Berkeley College Republicans and BridgeUSA — Tuesday evening. The organizers are not giving up, saying the university’s action amounts to unconstitutional prior restraint." (04/19/17)

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/UC-Berkeley-orders-cancellation-of-Ann-Coulter-11084299.php

CA: In nod to affirmative action, UC Berkeley conservatives schedule Coulter speech

Source: Fox News

"Controversial conservative [sic] commentator Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak at the University of California, Berkeley in April, less than three months after an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos sparked violent protests. Young America's Foundation announced this week that the 11-time New York Times bestselling author is slated to give a talk on campus on April 27." (03/30/17)

http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/03/30/ann-coulter-speak-berkeley-less-3-months-after-fiery-milo-yiannopoulos-protests

Tax-funded Harvard/MIT outfit wins versus tax-funded Berkeley outfit in CRISPR fake property rights case

Source: Nature

"The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has upheld a series of patents granted for the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The hotly anticipated decision could conclude a contentious battle between the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of California over intellectual-property rights to the potentially lucrative technology. Although the Broad was awarded its patents first, the University of California was the first of the two to apply for a patent on the technology. The California contingent also argues that its team in Berkeley invented the technique before investigators at the Broad." [editor's note: Even if "intellectual property" was actual property, the Broad Institute gets more than half its funding from the federal government, and the University of California is government funded as well — which makes any patents rightfully "public property" – TLK] (02/15/17)

http://www.nature.com/news/broad-institute-wins-bitter-battle-over-crispr-patents-1.21502