Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has announced his “comeback” at a top university just months after plans for him to speak on campus sparked violent protests.
Yiannopoulos says he will return to UC Berkeley later this year with ‘Milo’s Free Speech Week’, a “huge” series of talks, rallies and parties targeting “enemies of free speech” including feminism, Black Lives Matter and Islam.
“Free speech has never been more under threat in America - especially at the supposed home of the free speech movement,” the former Breitbart editor wrote in a statement on Facebook.
A small group of demonstrators toppled lampposts, started fires and hurled objects at police officers to protest the appearance of Yiannopoulos, who argues rape culture is a myth and transgender people are mentally ill.
Yiannopoulos, 32, said of his planned event “all will be welcome, regardless political affiliation”.
He wrote: “I will bring activists, writers, artists, politicians, YouTubers, veterans and drag queens from across the ideological spectrum to lecture, march, and party.
“We will stand united against the ‘progressive’ Left. We will loudly reject the venomous hectoring and moral hypocrisy of social justice warriors.
“Free speech belongs to everyone ― not just the spoilt brats of the academy.”
According to Yiannopoulos’ statement, Milo’s Free Speech Week will also see the introduction of the Mario Savio Award, a new free speech prize.
Savio was a key member of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, during which students demanded that the university lift a ban on political activity on campus.
Yiannopoulos has called on UC Berkeley to help plan and hold the event and has threatened to extend it to a month if the college refuses.
“We will establish a tent city on Sproul Plaza protesting the university’s total dereliction of its duty and encourage students at other universities to follow suit,” he declared.
“I intend to return Berkeley to its rightful place as the home of free speech ― whether university administrators and violent far-left antifa [anti-fascist] thugs like it or not,” he added.
The university has yet to respond.
Yiannopoulos’ announcement comes just a week after UC Berkeley found itself in the centre of a free speech row with conservative political commentator Ann Coulter.
A speech she was set to give about immigration was rescheduled after police raised safety concerns regarding potential protests.