A US university which saw violent protests when Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak has cancelled an immigration lecture by controversial Donald Trump supporter Ann Coulter over safety concerns.
According to officials at the University of California, Berkeley, groups responsible for recent violent protests were planning to target the talk by controversial political commentator Coulter, who is often likened to the UK’s Katie Hopkins.
The announcement comes just two months after the campus was placed on lockdown when a group of demonstrators toppled lamp posts, started fires and hurled objects at police officers to protest the appearance of former Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos.
However, despite the college’s decision, Coulter has vowed to give the speech as planned on April 27.
Speaking on Fox News, the 55-year-old said: “What are they going to do, arrest me? They can put me in the Birmingham jail.
“I’m definitely giving the speech,” she continued.
“They [the university] kept piling on requirements, rouses. ‘You can’t speak in the evening, you have to speak in the daytime when kids are in classes. We’re not sure what room you’re going to use, we won’t tell you until the last minute. You have to exclude everyone except students.’
Coulter added: “I agreed to all of their demands and then I wake up this morning and they send out a letter saying how much they love the First Amendment and freedom of speech and they’re so committed to it, but we’re just cancelling her anyway.”
University chiefs had sent a letter to the Berkeley College Republicans, one of the student groups responsible for the event, saying they were rescheduling the Coulter’s appearance after consulting with campus police over safety.
“We therefore must now work together to reschedule her appearance for a later date,” the letter read.
“We regret this outcome - especially given our unqualified support for our students’ right to bring speakers of their choosing to the university, and out deep commitment to the values and principles embedded in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.”
Responding to Coulter’s claims on TV, a university spokesperson told The Huffington Post they had no idea about the alleged demands the college had made “because we’ve never actually been in direct contact with her”.
The only requests the university had made were safety-related, they added.
“Why she sees those as demands we’re uncertain, because they were simply the recommendations we received from our police department about what would be required to protect her and, most importantly, to maximise the chances that the event could be held successfully and safely.
“In other words, we can’t hold an event when our police department says, ‘No, sorry. We can’t provide safety and security.’”
It is unclear where in Berkeley Coulter may be speaking next week. However, the conservative pundit tweeted yesterday that she had instructed a student group to rent out a venue.