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Violent protesters block Berkeley talk by Breitbart editor

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Protestors against a scheduled speaking appearance by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos march on the University of California at Berkeley campus on Wednesday.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Protestors watch a bonefire on Sproul Plaza during a rally against the scheduled speaking appearance by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos on the University of California at Berkeley campus on Wednesday. The event was canceled out of safety concerns after protesters hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and started a bonfire.

BERKELEY, Calif. >> Protesters hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and started a bonfire prompting University of California at Berkeley officials to cancel a talk Wednesday by a polarizing editor of Breitbart News out of safety concerns.

The decision was made two hours before the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos (yuh-NAH’-poh-lihs) because a crowd of more than 1,500 had gathered outside the venue, the university said in a statement.

“Of paramount importance this evening was the campus’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of those attending the event, the speaker, those who came to engage in lawful protest, as well as members of the public and the Berkeley campus community,” it said.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulos said there are no immediate reports of arrests or serious injuries.

The 32-year-old right-wing provocateur is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a self-proclaimed internet troll whose comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist. He was banned from Twitter after leading a harassment campaign against “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.

Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators carrying signs that read “Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech” had been protesting for hours before the event. A smaller group of protesters dressed in black and in hooded sweatshirts showed up as night fell and used metal barricades to break windows, threw smoke bombs and flares and used a diesel generator to start a large bonfire outside the building.

Yiannopoulos’ visit to Berkeley was sponsored by the campus Republican club. The university has stressed it did not invite him and does not endorse his ideas but is committed to free speech and rejected calls to cancel the event.

“The event has been cancelled,” Yiannopoulos posted on his Facebook page. “I’ll let you know more when the facts become clear. One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”

The Berkeley College Republicans said its “constitutional right to free speech was silenced by criminals and thugs.”

“Their success is a defeat for civilized society and the free exchange of ideas on college campuses across America,” it said in a statement.

Yiannopoulos’ talks have sparked protests, shouting matches and occasional violence at stops around the country. A man was shot and wounded at protests outside his Jan. 21 talk at the University of Washington.

Rowdy protests at UC Davis Jan. 13 prompted campus Republicans to cancel his appearance at the last minute. His final stop was supposed to be UCLA on Thursday but the invitation was rescinded, making Berkeley his grand finale.

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    • That’s the tolerant, listen to all viewpoints, free speech loving left for you. They can’t allow competing viewpoints to be heard so they riot, burn and destroy private property.

    • hurled smoke bombs, broke windows, started a bonfire . .[to protest the invitation of] . a polarizing editor of Breitbart News … Milo Yiannopoulos

      What has Milo done to earn such venomous assault from the feel good, and oh SOOO tolerant left?

      They attempt to silence him by calling him one who is “racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and a white supremacist.”

      He has conducted a number in the series of what he calls “The Dangerous F a g g o t Tour” of college and university campi and they are terrified of what he has to sell: TRUTH.

      Milo gleefully enjoys rubbing the noses of the hypocrites in the m u c k of their rank hypocrisy: “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”

      HUZZAH Milo!

      No prisoners!

        • Watching you squirm like a worm now in the wake of the humiliating defeat of your candidate, Felony-Shrillary – – and after you were SOOOOOO positive that she would prevail – – well, the mere word ‘pleasure’ cannot fully capture the mood.

          Let’s just say it is GRAND watching you hoist on your on petard.

          By all means DOOOOOOOO carry on.

          When it comes to such unseemly entertainment, I have abysmally low taste,

        • Okay, Klastri, play the word game. I will say it another way – no arrests were made. I watched the news and saw the products of our liberal education system rioting and smashing windows. I did not see them setting fires, but some were set. And I saw the young lady wearing a red Make America Great Again cap being pepper sprayed by a liberal as she was speaking to a news reporter. According to news reports, the many police were present, yet not a single rioter, vandal, anarchist or whatever you want to call them was arrested. What is it about Trump haters that drives them constantly to this kind of chest beating?

  • democrat brown shirts inciting the easily manipulated gruber bots in yet another violent riot to prevent free people a discussion and peaceful exchange of ideas that expose the failures and hypocrisy of the democrat party.

  • Funny how Clinton and her supporters were criticizing Trump supporters for being violent and out of control. But here’s another example of Dem going crazy.

  • The fascist Left claims to be the tolerant ones, what hypocrisy! With this much tolerance who needs Neo Nazis? Shameful, and downright disgraceful, they have no place in a country that holds the Constitution as the law of the land and freedom of speech something American patriot soldiers fought and gave their lives for.

  • Free speech is all well and good – so long as you say what I want to hear. Got that? Now shut up and be a good Untermensch and assume your proper station in life.

    • DeltaDag> Nasty, nasty, nasty. First Amendment rights to free speech. Don’t have to be nasty. I think that these protesters take the meaning and intent of the First Amendment to a greater length, and have lost sight of what rights it protects. It does not protect you from damaging property and throwing stones at people, and also denying another person from exercising their right to freedom of speech. Protesters, no good, absolutely. They should stay home, keep warm, have a nice warm bowl of chicken noodle soup and chill out. What they are protesting is themselves. Really! Think about it! Nobody really cares about what they are protesting. They are simply being disruptive to good law and order.

  • It’s not a particular surprise that not one Trump supporter here understands what our free speech – First Amendment – right provides. It specifically does not provide a right for anyone to say anything they want to, with no rebuke from the general public. It does provide for the freedom of being arrested for what one says.

    No one has the right to speak at a University, or anywhere else, and be free of protest.

    Criminal activity, and violence, is wrong and should be avoided when possible and punished as the law provides when it happens.

      • Then you are misremembering. Of course I did. The term “freedom of speech” applies only to protection from the government. Not protection from private individuals or groups. So if someone wants to say something and was not restrained prior to utterance by the government (prior restraint) and was not arrested after they spoke, then that person enjoyed freedom of speech.

    • “No one has the right to speak at a University, or anywhere else, and be free of protest.”

      That is not in dispute, but given the weak line you are trying to push it comes as no surprise you would attempt to change the subject.

      One thing that IS at issue is a university putatively devoted to the free exchange of different ideas showing itself to be a monumental hypocrite by attempting to silence those whose opinions they find distasteful. In such cases – – and they are now all too frequent – – these “institutions of higher learning” reveal themselves in fact to be little more than part of a Soviet era gulag.

  • Those of you paint “the left” with the violence need to read the entire article. The key text is, “Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators carrying signs that read “Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech” had been protesting for hours before the event. A smaller group of protesters dressed in black and in hooded sweatshirts showed up as night fell and used metal barricades to break windows, threw smoke bombs and flares and used a diesel generator to start a large bonfire outside the building.” The violence was caused by a second group who had no intention of protesting peacefully. For all we know they were sent their by the alt-right to give fascist trump and bannan a reason to attack the anti-Yiannopoulosis people. (This was a tactic used by Nixon’s “dirty trick henchmen.)

    Yiannopoulosis a self-proclaimed internet troll whose comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist. The visit to Berkeley was sponsored by the campus Republican club. The link between the republicans and the people like Yiannopoulosis is clear. Do those of you attacking the protestors believe we should go down this neo-nazi path?

  • “Violent protesters” are rioters. Why don’t the liberals call them what they really are? Could it because rioting that causes destruction of property is a felony and the liberal media wants the Grubers to see them as “protesters” instead of what they actually are: criminals.

  • Gee whiz, those supporting an expanded welfare state, free health insurance, high pensions, free access to higher education, and help for families and child support are supporting the party platforms of the Nazi Party and the Fascist Party. Both Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini were ardent socialists at the beginning of their career. Mussolini’s experience in the First World War was an eye-opener. His fellow soldiers, the target for his socialist party, were patriotic Italians not fellow international workers. In that Karl Marx misread the proletariat. Mussolini read the French philosopher George Sorel who stated that the vast majority of people are moved by emotions, not by reason or logic. And the strongest emotion was evoked by patriotism or nationalism. Italians cheered wildly when Italy invaded Ethiopia. So both Hitler and Mussolini combined socialism with worship of the Fatherland, with conquests and imperial might, with government control of all facets of life, from birth to death, and with the development of “supermen.”

    Of course this is unfair! Those supporting the welfare state aren’t fascists even if they share the same political goals with fascism. There is a huge difference in reaching one’s goals through constitutional means and by instituting a totalitarian state. The point I’m making is that people of all political stripes feel free to call their opponents “fascists” and “Nazis,” because it is today the term is an all-purpose vehicle for opprobrium directed against one’s opponents which will continue, of course, ad infinitum.

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