Protesters at California University Stop Speech by Controversial Alt-right Speaker

Antonio JonesFeb 04, 2017

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.

Some people were attacked and police treated six people for injuries, the university said.

Berkeley cancelled the speech after more than 1,500 students gathered in protest and a group of masked anti-fascist activists shot fireworks at the speech venue.

Officials have said it was a smaller group of protesters that was responsible for the violence. His speech was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but was cancelled after protests erupted on campus. He works for the website formerly run by Stephen Bannon, who now serves as Trump's chief strategist in the White House.

Trump's warning comes amid similar ultimatums to "sanctuary cities", localities that effectively shield undocumented immigrants from deportation by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

While some private universities, because they are not funded by the government, can establish a unique set of school regulations, public universities, like U.C. Berkeley, must comply with federal law. He was supposed to appear at a University of California, Davis event with former investor Martin Shkreli on January 14, but organizers canceled it after protests broke out at the venue.

The Martin Luther King Jr student union had already been heavily reinforced behind several layers of police barricades however violence escalated and the police placed the campus on lockdown, advising students to shelter in place or leave the area. In 2016, a campaign of harassment against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones led to him being banned from Twitter.

"This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley", Mike Wright, a Berkeley College Republican member, told The San Francisco Chronicle.

Demonstrators were protesting what they considered to be hate speech by Yiannopoulos, who has stirred audiences with his controversial views on feminism, Islam, and freedom of speech.

One person was shot and wounded at a Yiannopoulos speech at the University of Washington last month. However, the university's chancellor Nicholas Dirks had earlier refused to block the event, saying it would be unconstitutional.

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