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Ann Coulter cancels controversial speech at Berkeley amid threat of violence

Posted at 12:32 PM, Apr 26, 2017

(CNN) -- Ann Coulter will not speak Thursday at the University of California, Berkeley, Coulter said Wednesday on her verified Twitter account.

In a series of tweets, the conservative writer and speaker said the school canceled the speech -- something the school denied.

A student group, the Young America's Foundation, had invited Coulter but decided Tuesday not to host the event, saying the university had created a hostile environment. The university had said the speech would create security concerns and tried to move the speech to May 2.



Despite that, Coulter had held out hope Tuesday of speaking somewhere on campus -- but didn't know where. She announced the cancellation on Twitter. "I'm so sorry Berkeley canceled my speech," she tweeted Wednesday.

"I'm so sorry YAF acquiesced in the cancelation (sic). And I'm so sorry for free speech crushed by thugs."



University officials could not immediately be contacted for comment Wednesday afternoon. But before Coulter tweeted, the university put out a news release that said, "Contrary to some press reports and circulating narratives, the UC Berkeley administration did not cancel the Coulter event and has never prohibited Ms. Coulter from coming on campus."

The news release said the school decided not to provide a venue for the Thursday speech because of reports that violence would occur. The school suggested the speech be given May 2 -- but school is not in session that day, so Coulter and the YAF opposed that idea.

The YAF and Berkeley College Republicans have filed a lawsuit that accuses the school of discriminating against conservative guest speakers by placing onerous time and location restrictions on their appearances. Berkeley, known for decades as a bastion of free speech, has seen protests turn violent in recent months.

In April, 21 people were arrested when anti-Trump and pro-Trump groups clashed in a city park.

In early March, 10 people were arrested when pro- and anti-Trump groups fought in Berkeley.

In February people took to the streets to protest an appearance by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. The university said more than $100,000 in damage was done.

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