Posted by on September 24, 2017
Categories: Bay Area

While chants of ‘No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA’ permeated throughout U.C. Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on Sunday, hundreds of people were waiting on the outside to get a glimpse of right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.

Several supporters of Yiannopoulos claim police were only letting one person in at a time, several minutes apart.

About 100 people, both supporters and protesters, were able to attend today’s 30-minute event in Sproul Plaza, which was largely downsized after the group known as the Berkeley Patriot pulled their sponsorship of Yiannopoulos the day before the so-called ‘free speech week’ was set to begin.

“It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement was made at the last minute, even as the university was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life in order to provide the needed security for these events,” said University Spokesman Dan Mogulof.

The Berkeley Patriot, through their attorney, responded with a letter, saying they have filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Justice against the University due to what they claim is ‘systematic suppression of their first and fourteenth amendment rights.’

The university’s police department put measures in place to ensure the safety of the campus community, university officials said.

Libraries and other buildings that serve students, specifically Eshelman and Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, were open today.

With regard to the counter-protests, “We encourage you to think critically about your actions and not react to the provocations of others,” campus officials said in a statement.

“If the actions around you are not consistent with your own values and goals, please remove yourself from the situation. If you choose to remain in an area where violence is occurring, you may be subject to arrest or removal,” campus officials said.

When Yiannopoulos last was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley in February, protests caused more than $100,000 in damage to the campus, and more than a dozen businesses were vandalized in the city’s downtown area, according to university officials.

Campus police are urging people who see violence occurring to separate themselves from the violence and report the violence by dialing 911 or (510) 642-3333.

Yiannopoulos says he’ll be back in Berkeley early next year for a scheduled speech inside the University.

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