The University of California at Berkeley canceled Ann Coulter's April 27 speech, but the controversial conservative author plans to speak anyway.
"Yes, it was officially banned," Coulter told The Hollywood Reporter. "But they can't stop me. I'm an American. I have constitutional rights."
Coulter was due to speak on campus about immigration. Her appearance was sponsored by BridgeUSA and the Berkeley College Republicans.
UC Berkeley vice chancellors Scott Biddy and Stephen Sutton told the two groups in an email about the cancelation, notes the San Francisco Chronicle:
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We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27 event featuring Ann Coulter. 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.
"If that's banned, then no conservative can speak," Coulter told The Hollywood Reporter. "Meanwhile, corrupt banana republic leaders like [former president of Mexico] Vicente Fox have the red carpet rolled out for them on the taxpayer's dime."
Coulter said she previously agreed to demands from UC Berkeley administrators:
I've acceded to all their silly demands, which they thought would end it. When I said, "yes, yes, yes," they canceled anyway. No more clear-cut proof that taxpayer-supported universities will not allow conservative speakers.
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Coulter issued a defiant last comment: "I'm giving a speech. Speech will go on."
Spencer Brown, spokesman for the Young America’s Foundation, which is paying $17,000 of Coulter's $20,000 fee, said her speech will happen "whether Berkeley likes it or not," notes the San Francisco Chronicle.
Brown was asked where Coulter would actually speak, and he replied, “We are pursuing all remedies available."
The Young America’s Foundation said in a statement: "This is as clear-cut a case as it gets that public universities are using taxpayer dollars to shut down conservative speech, while allowing liberal speech only."
Dan Mogulof, a campus spokesman, was asked what would happen if Coulter shows up, and answered, "We will continue to do what is necessary to provide safety and security for the campus community and our neighbors."
Coulter recently praised Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was accused by the Trump administration of using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, including children, on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show:
For that region of the world, Assad is one of the better leaders -- there’s probably only one or two that are better than he. He’s not even like a [former Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein murderous thug.