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UC Berkeley abruptly cancels 'Free Speech Week' featuring Milo Yiannopoulos

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UC Berkeley’s “Free Speech Week,” set to feature right wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos and several others from Sept. 24-27, has been canceled, the university announced Saturday.
UC Berkeley’s “Free Speech Week,” set to feature right wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos and several others from Sept. 24-27, has been canceled, the university announced Saturday.
“The student organization Berkeley Patriot has indicated through its outside legal counsel that they have canceled all events due to take place from Sept. 24-27,” the announcement r ead on the school’s website . “The situation is evolving and we will continue to provide information on our update website, especially about campus security measures. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Dan Mogulof, a school spokesman, told The Mercury News in an emailed statement that the decision was made abruptly. The bill for the whole event was reportedly $1.4 million, according to The Associated Press.
“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.”
The event was advertised to feature speeches from Yiannopoulos, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, conservative pundit Ann Coulter and others. However, Coulter and Bannon never publicly confirmed they would attend, The Hill reported. In February, Yiannopoulos was to speak on the campus, but denied due to violent protests.
Yiannopoulos, sitting next to anti-Islam writer Pamela Geller and Mike Cernovich, a conspiracy theorist, vowed on Facebook Live Saturday to hold an event regardless of the announcement “come hell or high water.”
“I can’t promise you’re going to be safe,” he said. “It’s not an official event.”
Students told The Mercury News that the entire situation has been exhausting.
“It’s just too much,” Dominick Williams, a junior, said. “We’re just trying to learn.”
Max Wolf-Johnson, a senior, told The Mercury News that professors canceled many classes preemptively and that “actual intellectual discourse is halted.”
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