Berkeley Patriot organization says all 'Free Speech Week' events are cancelled

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More than 200 professors and graduate student instructors have signed a letter calling for an all-campus boycott of classes if the event goes ahead.

Right wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos is escorted by police officers after he spoke during a free speech rally at U.C. Berkeley on September 24, 2017 in Berkeley, California.

"I do understand their fears and they are right on all counts when they say UC Berkeley is threatening their educational futures", he said.

Conservative champions Mike Cernovich and Pamela Gellar are set to join Yiannopoulos at Sunday's event. The administration, Yiannopoulos claimed, "had done everything in its power to crush" the event. In the months since, the school faced continuing fights over free speech, hate speech, politics and political correctness, and the surrounding community had bloody clashes between extremists on the far left and the far right. However, this morning the university announced that the Berkeley Patriot organization had called the event off.

Mogulof said the university was prepared to do "whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization".

FILE - In this February 1, 2017 file photo, a fire set by demonstrators protesting a scheduled speaking appearance by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos burns on Sproul Plaza on the University of California, Berkeley campus. Over 140 people had expressed interest as of Saturday evening.

Neither guest is now slated to participate, however, and the student group organizing the event, Berkeley Patriot, told the school on Saturday that it's canceled all of its sponsored "Free Speech Week" activities after being allegedly pressured by campus officials. So he announced that he'd be holding an "unofficial" rally at the campus on Sunday. "But don't worry: We've got you covered".

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"I can't promise you're going to be safe".

Those hoping to hear a speech were herded through metal detectors, while demonstrators who came out against it were held behind barricades on Sproul Plaza, the center of activity on campus during the 1960s Free Speech Movement. I will get Ann Coulter here ... Yiannopoulos also promised a "huge surprise".

He then invited UC Berkeley's Chancellor Carol Christ and University of California President Janet Napolitano to debate with him or any conservative of their choice on the issue of free speech.

Yiannopoulos said he was blindsided and "personally irritated" by the news.

"We are very disappointed", Melo added. She said anyone can come to the open plaza to speak, but they can't use amplified sound without permission or interfere with the business of the university.

The event seemed to be in trouble in recent days as organizers failed to meet Berkeley's deadlines for renting indoor venues on campus, while at the same time some scheduled speakers either canceled plans to attend or said they never agreed to appear. That iconic setting, and the school's reputation as a politically liberal campus, have made it a magnet for controversial speakers this year. The university also advised people in attendance on Sunday to avoid violence.

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