I'll Be Back, Milo Yiannopoulos Promises UC Berkeley on Heels of Violent Protests | NBC Bay Area
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I'll Be Back, Milo Yiannopoulos Promises UC Berkeley on Heels of Violent Protests

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    Controversial voice Milo Yiannopoulos pledged to make another speaking attempt at UC Berkeley after protesters earlier this week prompted the cancelation of the Breitbart editor's scheduled event. Thom Jensen reports. (Published Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017)

    Divisive Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos caused a furor at UC Berkeley this week, and now he is promising to return and make the speech that protesters blocked. 

    Invited by the college Republican club, the 32-year-old alt-right blogger was slated to speak about cultural appropriation on Wednesday night, but protesters took the campus by storm. Bricks and bottles flew through the air; police barricades were torn down; windows of coffee shops and banks were smashed; blazes were set; some in the crowd were teargassed; and "Kill Trump" was spraypainted on walls.

    Yiannopoulos was swiftly evacuated from the campus, which was locked down, and he bemoaned the demise of free speech from the safety of his hotel room. However, on Saturday, he promised to return to UC Berkeley as part of his "Dangerous Faggot Tour." Repairing the damage will cost an estimated $100,000. 

    "I'm planning to return to Berkeley to give the speech I was prevented from delivering. Hopefully within the next few months. I'll keep you posted," Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook.

    When asked about the latest development, Pieter Sittler, president of the UC Berkeley College Republicans said, "He has a right to speak and that right was abridged on Wednesday. We want appropriate security measures to be taken and we'd like have him come and speak."

    Naweed Tahamas, who was on a balcony with Yiannopoulos when the chaos began, said it is up to university and security officials to keep students safe. The group will hold UC Berkeley's "feet to the fire," he said.

    When asked about Yiannopoulos' not yet concrete plan, university spokesman Dan Mogulof said officials have not yet received a new request to bring Yiannopoulos back. That said, registered organizations like the Berkeley College Republicans retain the right to invite "who they want onto campus," he said — even if it's the man who UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks deemed a "troll" and "provocateur." 

    When asked about any security measures that might be taken to avoid a repeat of Wednesday's demonstrations, Mogulof declined to comment. 

    Milo Yiannopoulos Promises Return Visit to CalMilo Yiannopoulos Promises Return Visit to Cal

    Divisive Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos caused a furor at UC Berkeley this week, and now he is promising to return. Thom Jensen reports.
    (Published Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017)

    Some local business owners and employees will be looking for security answers if Yiannopoulos makes his return.

    Erfan Sadeghin from Fresco Restaurant did not have his establishment attacked during the night of violence, but he's still worried about future clashes cropping up again. While the community waits to see if Yiannopoulos will make a return attempt, Sadeghin has a message for those thinking about wreaking havoc.

    "I think it doesn't help anything," he said. "I think it gets the word out, but it doesn't solve any problems."

    Tension has been high at UC Berkeley ever since the violent outburst. President Donald Trump has threatened to rescind federal funding if the campus infringes on people's right to free speech. Fights have broken out among students and questions have arised about the efficacy of the campus and city police departments in responding to the protests on Wednesday night. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin also found himself in hot water after referring to Yiannopoulos as a "white nationalist," which he later rescinded.

    NBC Bay Area's Thom Jensen contributed to this report.

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