Berkeley Braces for Upcoming 'Alt-Right' Rallies, Speeches - NBC Bay Area
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Berkeley Braces for Upcoming 'Alt-Right' Rallies, Speeches

City and UC leaders say hate speech not welcome as Milo Yiannopoulos and other conservatives plan appearances

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    The city of Berkeley once again is gearing up for what could be another showdown between the right and left with rallies this weekend and in September. Pete Suratos reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017)

    The city of Berkeley once again is gearing up for what could be another showdown between the right and left with rallies this weekend and in September, including a possible appearance by conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.

    The rallies will focus on free speech, and while city and UC Berkeley leaders are not welcoming hate speech, they are allowing the rallies in the name of the First Amendment.

    Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other city and county leaders are expected to speak Tuesday morning at Berkeley City Hall to make it clear to hate groups that they are not welcome in the city.

    Berkeley Braces for Upcoming 'Alt-Right' Rallies, SpeechesBerkeley Braces for Upcoming 'Alt-Right' Rallies, Speeches

    The city of Berkeley once again is gearing up for what could be another showdown between the right and left with rallies this weekend and in September, including a possible appearance by conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. Thom Jensen reports.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 21, 2017)

    So-called alt-right ralliers plan to demonstrate on Berkeley's streets this weekend, and residents are concerned about violence and destruction similar to what occurred in February, before a planned Yiannopoulos speech was canceled.

    "They're not alt-right; they're Nazis," resident Taye Taye said. "They're racists. They're not welcome."

    UC Berkeley students also are concerned about what will happen this weekend and in September, when Yiannopoulos and other controversial alt-right speakers say they will be on campus.

    "There is such a thing as too far left and too far right, so i think it's going to be a little dangerous around campus during that time," student Cindy Kreck said.

    Still, the university says it will allow all speech on campus, even if it's filled with hate.

    "We contest speech that we don't like with more speech, and the best disinfectant is sunlight," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

    Mogulof said the school will spend a lot of money on security to keep people safe.

    Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said the alt-right groups expected this weekend are not welcome but they will not be turned away if they remain peaceful.

    "We as a community stand for free speech," Arreguin said. "We are the birthplace of the free speech movement, and we really can't dictate based on the content of the speech."

    Leaders suggest that people stay away from the activity in Berkeley this weekend to be on the safe side.

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