Groups from across the political spectrum (from Bikers-for-Trump to Antifa) gathered in various spots across Berkeley this afternoon to protest/discuss the now-canceled Ann Coulter event. While events are peaceful for now, two antifa protesters have been arrested and 100s of police are on the scene.
As The Daily Cal reports, many community groups who had planned on protesting at Coulter’s appearance Thursday decided to continue their demonstrations, even though the event was canceled.
Raphael Kadaris, a member of Refuse Fascism, addressed onlookers at Sproul Plaza with a megaphone. “Anyone who cares about free speech should be worried there’s a fascist regime in the White House,” Kadaris said.
Some conservative groups also gathered to protest the cancellation of Coulter’s event. Lauren Southern, a conservative activist and writer, said she might read Coulter’s speech about 2 p.m. “I am here to defend free speech,” Southern said, “Show Antifa it is not their land, and violence will not be tolerated.”
Individuals entering Sproul Plaza may be subject to search for weapons, banners and explosive devices, according to a sign posted on a pillar outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and UCPD Nixle alert released about 1:52 p.m. The alert declared Sproul Plaza an “event area” and advising the community that the area would have limited access.
Ann Coulter said Wednesday that she was forced to cancel her April 27 speaking event at the University of California, Berkeley amid concerns of violence but might still "swing by to say hello" to all her supporters.
"I'm not speaking. But I'm going to be near there, so I might swing by to say hello to my supporters who have flown in from all around the country," Coulter said in an email. "I thought I might stroll around the graveyard of the First Amendment."