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Far-right to rally in Berkeley after Coulter talk canceled

Far-right to rally in Berkeley after Coulter talk canceled”

Hundreds held a relatively peaceful demonstration in response to Ann Coulter's speech cancellation at University of California Berkeley.

Daryl Tempesta tapes a sign over his mouth in protest during a demonstration Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. Demonstrators gathered near the University of California, Berkeley campus amid a strong police presence and rallied to show support for free speech and condemn the views of Ann Coulter and her supporters.

Berkeley police announced two arrests by 1 p.m; one person for carrying a knife on campus and another for obstructing or delaying a police officer, wearing a mask and giving false identification. The conservative social and political commentator and writer said she still might "swing by to say hello" to her supporters as police and university officials braced for possible trouble whether she shows up or not, citing intelligence and online chatter by groups threatening to instigate violence.

UC Berkeley officials denied that Coulter was unwelcome because of her politics.

Berkeley police Officer Byron White said Thursday that two people were arrested in the city; one for a drug violation and another for possessing a weapon.

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"I thought I might stroll around the graveyard of the First Amendment", Coulter said in an email.

The blame for the cancellation falls most squarely on three instigators: the non-campus-affiliated militant organizations who intentionally foment destruction and violence, the student groups that invite provocative speakers with the intent of triggering a confrontation, and on the media industry which rewards conflict over conversation and promotes instigation over understanding.

Berkeley student Joseph Pagadara, 19, said he was anxious about violence and says the university is caught in the middle of the country's political divide.

Under the radar of all the stories resulting from the actions surrounding conservative speakers at the University of California-Berkeley (UCB), the Young America's Foundation (YAF) filed a lawsuit against the university in federal court Monday.

CORNISH: Richard, UC Berkeley has this reputation of being a home for dissent, certainly where free speech is valued. Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley. Though some attendees shouted at each other and journalists at the scene reported seeing a few threats of fighting, most of the crowd spent the afternoon listening to a series of speeches, milling around, and finally dispersing.

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"This is not about free speech".

Demonstrators who participated in other recent violent clashes on Berkeley's streets began gathering at a city park and on campus to fight for free speech or to protest hate speech.

Her supporters and some students on the UC Berkeley campus voiced frustration that she hadn't been allowed to speak.

The university, meanwhile, has said it's prepared for what may come.

It became national news this week when Ann Coulter canceled an appearance at the University of California Berkeley, after student groups sponsoring the event pulled their support amid rising tensions and an inability to secure a venue on campus. That event was canceled because of violent protests by a left-wing extremist group that smashed windows on campus and set fires outside the student union. What did university officials have to say about it? But the school, a longtime bastion of free speech that has recently been plagued by violence over controversial speakers, denied it had canceled.

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