Police around the University of California, Berkeley are gearing up to handle protests against right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, despite the college officially cancelling his event.
The student group sponsoring Milo’s Free Speech Week event pulled out Saturday in anticipation of violent protests, but the provocateur announced he would make an appearance on the campus Sunday “come Hell or high water,” ABC News reported. The Free Speech Week was scheduled to take place just days after conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke on the campus, an event which cost the university $600,000 for security alone.
Police Chief Margo Bennett said the department is taking the possibility of protests very seriously, considering that speakers like Milo “can just show up” regardless of invitation. UC Berkeley administrators also expressed regret that the event had been cancelled, as they had already begun spending for security.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement was made at the last minute, even as the University was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life in order to provide the needed security for these events,” Vice Chancellor Dan Mogulof said in a statement.
UC Berkeley had reportedly planned to spend nearly $1 million on security for the four-day event.
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