Conservative commentator Ann Coulter vowed to proceed with a scheduled speaking event at UC Berkeley, despite the school’s decision to call it off.
Citing security concerns, the school’s vice chancellors said they intended to “reschedule her appearance for a later date.”
In a letter to Berkeley College Republicans, who organized the event, Vice Chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton said campus police were unable to find a “suitable venue” for the April 27 event.
“Unfortunately, UCPD determined that, given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience, and bystanders could be adequately protected — at any of the campus venues available on April 27th,” the letter said.
“We realize that this is disappointing news, but the good news is that UCPD and Student Affairs remain firmly committed to working with you to find an alternative time and date for Ms. Coulter to come speak here at Berkeley. We expect most Mondays and Tuesdays in September during the day should work, though we will of course need to work through the details.”
The letter said the school was taking extra precautions after violence that accompanied conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos’ February appearance as well as recent riots in the city of Berkeley. But Coulter called it a “cancellation” and went on a Twitter rampage vowing to appear at the famously progressive school.
No school accepting public funds can ban free speech. https://t.co/EQsiAEWPpW
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 19, 2017
“Yes, it was officially banned,” Coulter told Hollywood Reporter. “But they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights.”
Coulter shared the article on Twitter, describing it as “the real story about Berkeley.” She said the school made several demands that she agreed to only to have them cancel anyway.
The school told her she had to deliver her speech in the afternoon, that only students could attend and the speech location would not be announced until close to the event, according to Young America’s Foundation, which sponsored the event with BridgeCal and Berkeley College Republicans.
“Against our advice, Coulter agreed to all these requirements,” the group said in a statement. “The university’s response was to ban her speech.”
Later Wednesday she appeared on Fox News and told Tucker Carlson, “I’m definitely giving the speech,” adding on Twitter that she would speak next Thursday.
Coulter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.