University of California at Berkeley Reverses Decision to Cancel Speech by Ann Coulter

Officials at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday reversed their decision to cancel a speech by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter.

The university had previously announced Wednesday that it was canceling Coulter’s appearance following several political protests in Berkeley that turned violent. But on Thursday, the university said it had found a venue where it could hold the speech on a different day, May 2, instead of the original April 27 date.

Coulter and the group arranging her event said they are rejecting the new invitation.

In a series of tweets Thursday night, Coulter criticized the university, saying Berkeley officials were adding “burdensome” conditions to her speech. She said she had already spent money to hold the event on the original April 27 date and is not available May 2. She also pointed out that May 2 would coincide with a reading period before final exams, when there are no classes on campus and a fewer students around.

And she vowed that she is going to speak in Berkeley on the originally planned April 27 date, whether the university approved or not.

A leader of the college Republican group that invited Coulter also said his group planned to reject the new terms and alleged that the university is placing strict conditions on the event.

A Berkeley spokesman, however, rejected the claim that the university is placing unreasonable restrictions on Coulter’s event. The one main request the university made in extending their new invitation was to hold the event in the afternoon, said Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. Holding the event later in the day would risk protests and potential violence stretching into the evening when the campus tends to get crowded with commuters and students.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, William Wan and Susan Svrluga