Controversial conservative Ann Coulter is slated to speak April 28 in Modesto, but her speech scheduled the night before in Berkeley has been canceled, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The appearance has been canceled by the university because of security concerns, the Chronicle reported.
“We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter,” vice chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton said in an email to the student groups co-hosting the event, the Chronicle reported.
It is not out of line for me to denounce what Ann Coulter says, because there’s a lot of what she says that I completely disagree with and I think is divisive.
Assemblyman Heath Flora, R-Ripon, pressed to denounce Coulter by an audience member at a panel discussion on immigration reform Wednesday morning
According to the Chronicle, the UC Berkeley administrators told the groups in their email: “In the wake of events surrounding the planned appearance by (right-wing speaker) Milo Yiannopoulos in February, as well as several riots which have occurred in recent weeks in the city of Berkeley, we have increased our scrutiny regarding the time and location of high-profile speakers so that these events can go forward unimpeded.”
Coulter fired off an angry stream of tweets Wednesday, vowing to speak as planned next week in Berkeley.
“I WILL BE SPEAKING NEXT THURSDAY,” the right-wing commentator tweeted, calling the move to cancel her planned event April 27 a ban on free speech.
Coulter was invited to speak at Berkeley by campus Republicans on the subject of illegal immigration. The event raised concerns of more violence at Berkeley, where masked rioters smashed windows, set fires and shut down an appearance by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos in February.
Coulter posted eight tweets in a span of 17 minutes after reports of the cancellation surfaced Wednesday. She called claims of the university trying to set up an alternate date “FAKE NEWS!”
I’ve debated her. She disagrees with my policy positions. She disagrees with the Enlist Act, she talks about it on her radio shows. I will debate her.
Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, pressed to denounce Coulter by an audience member at a panel discussion on immigration reform Wednesday morning
The event was being co-organized by a campus group called BridgeCal and the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group that books Coulter’s campus speeches.
“We have no intention of acceding to these unconstitutional acts,” the Young America’s Foundation said in a statement. “The Ann Coulter lecture... will go forward.”
Coulter is slated to speak at the Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee’s Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser at Modesto Centre Plaza on April 28.
Several local politicians, speaking at the annual Government Night event in Denair on Tuesday, said they would not be attending Coulter’s Modesto speech.
Janice Keating, executive director of the Republican Central Committee, said Wednesday all 550 tickets for the Modesto dinner have been sold. Coulter will speak at the event, and Keating expects a full house.
“We are very conscious of the safety of our guests and our speaker,” Keating said. “We have been working with the Police Department to make sure everyone who wants to protest can do so peacefully and anyone who attends the event can also do so in safety.”
Keating said she believes the controversy around Coulter’s appearances in Modesto and the Bay Area are a “walk in the park” for the conservative author. “I am sure she is very used to it, along with all other conservative personalities who speak their mind,” Keating said.
Modesto Bee staff writer Ken Carlson and the Sacramento Bee contributed to this report.