WASHINGTON, April 26, 2017 — The fragile university kids who crouch in their “safe spaces” and demand speech codes to protect their egos and opinions from challenges are often called “snowflakes.”
But if those students were that fragile, the University of California at Berkeley might not have braced “for massive protests and potential violence in an open, public space known as Sproul Plaza after hearing that conservative commentator Ann Coulter” planned to give a speech there Thursday, said the Washington Post.
Why did Coulter choose Sproul Plaza? Because the venue is the birthplace of the so-called “Free Speech Movement.”
Mario Robert Savio, a founding member of U.C. Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, said on December 2, 1964:
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels… upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
At that time, Berkeley administrators had imposed a strict ban on all political advocacy. The Free Speech Movement was a response to censorship.
By the spring of 1965, the draconian ban was lifted and designated hours were set aside for public speakers, as were areas to set tables for distributing political literature.
On Wednesday, Berkeley’s Young America’s Foundation (YAF) chapter withdrew its sponsorship of Coulter’s visit because campus police have a “stand-down” policy for situations that do not threaten an “imminent loss of life.” They feared a lackluster police presence would only encourage violence.
Coulter told the Hollywood Reporter, “The leftist mob wouldn’t have gotten away with it, if YAF hadn’t pulled out … I have no one on the ground, no college Republicans, no lawyer, no insurance, no security … At the moment, I don’t even have a megaphone.”
The far-left activists who fought to freely express their views in the public square have morphed into an anti-free speech movement. And the movement’s muscle comes courtesy of Antifa, which stands for Anti-Fascist.
A group organizer told the hard-left Nation magazine what Antifa is all about:
“Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.”
In other words, a fascist is anyone not shoving their head into a balaclava or face behind a bandanna, wielding a bludgeon or blade.
When conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of Washington last January, protesters outside the venue turned violent. One person was shot.
“A man was taken to hospital with a potentially life-threatening wound to the abdomen,” Yiannopoulos tweeted. “My prayers are with the victim, whoever he is.”
The victim, it turned out, was a member of the ultra-violent Antifa, shot by a fellow protestor he was assaulting while in a confused, anarchist frenzy. The shooter eventually turned himself in to authorities, but no charges were filed.
Police saw the shooting as a clear-cut case of self-defense.
Earlier this month, Antifa demonstrators confronted pro-Trump “Patriots Day” rally participants in downtown Berkeley. What followed received cursory media coverage but should provide food for thought for university youngsters with an overly romanticized notion of violent revolution.
It appears Coulter’s counter-cultural conservatives lack the resolve of the average pro-Trump populist.
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