Conservative author Ann Coulter announced Wednesday she will not be giving her speech at the University of California, Berkeley following the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) backing out of the event.
Coulter alleges that YAF “ordered the lawyer not [to] file for [a] court order,” which would have compelled the school to reserve a room for the speaker, and that the Berkeley College Republicans, one of the parties sponsoring the author, were bound to follow YAF’s lead, according to Fox News.
The College Republicans and YAF sued UC Berkeley on Monday for canceling the author’s speech. But YAF had second thoughts, according to Coulter.
“I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team,” Coulter said in an email, according to Fox News. “I think I’m still going to Berkeley, but there will be no speech.”
“I thought I might just stroll around the graveyard of free speech in America,” Coulter wrote in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“YAF put out a statement to which I was adamantly opposed,” Coulter told The DCNF. “They gave into the threats of violence, instead of seeking a court order directing Berkeley to provide a safe venue for my speech.”
“We were on [the] cusp of victory and YAF backed down, refused to seek a court order or allow the College Republicans to request a court order. It’s a sad day for free speech.”
In its statement, YAF noted that the UC Berkeley police have a “stand-down” policy for all situations that are not life-threatening. YAF had requested that Berkeley provide a “central location on the main campus,” a “room holding hundreds of participants,” and an “afternoon/early evening timing” for the event, but asserts the school did not meet its requests.
The organization mentioned that it is proceeding with its lawsuit against the university.
Police forces had been preparing for Coulter’s speech, according to The Washington Post, following former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s canceled event at the campus in February, as well as two subsequent violent altercations between pro-Trump supporters and antifascists.
“If somebody brings weapons, there’s no way to block off the site, or to screen them,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to The Washington Post, when discussing Sproul Plaza, which was to have been a potential spot for Coulter’s speech.
TheDCNF also reached out to YAF and the Berkeley College Republicans for comment, but received none in time for publication.
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