More than 200 UC Berkeley instructors and faculty members are calling for a shutdown of classes and activities when right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and other conservative speakers visit campus this month.
In a letter sent to the campus community this week, the faculty members said that a boycott of Yiannopoulos’ “Free Speech Week” would protect their students from potentially deadly violence. The letter cited shootings, stabbings and beatings during confrontations between the right and left in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Charlottesville, Va., Maryland and Virginia.
“As faculty we cannot ask students and staff to choose between risking their physical and mental safety in order to attend class or come to work in an environment of harassment, intimidation, violence, and militarized policing,” the letter said. “The reality is that particularly vulnerable populations (DACA students, non-white, gender queer, Muslims, disabled, feminists, and others) have already been harmed, and are reporting increased levels of fear and anxiety about the upcoming events, the increased police presence on our campus, and how all this will impact their lives and their studies.”
The Berkeley Patriot student group, which invited the speakers, has not yet provided needed information or signed the required contracts for the event, said campus spokesman Dan Mogulof. He said the group has reserved the Sproul Plaza steps, however.
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