UC Berkeley Gets Ready for Milo and Free Speech Week - NBC Bay Area
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UC Berkeley Gets Ready for Milo and Free Speech Week

Yiannopoulos says the event will go on as planned despite the university's attempts to sabotage it

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    The show will go on in Berkeley, according to far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who took to YouTube and Facebook Monday, accusing UC Berkeley of trying to sabotage Free Speech Week. Thom Jensen reports. (Published Monday, Sept. 18, 2017)

    The show will go on in Berkeley, according to far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who took to YouTube and Facebook Monday, accusing UC Berkeley of trying to sabotage Free Speech Week.

    It was Yiannopoulos who was on campus when violent protests broke out in February. He said the university didn't do enough to protect speakers and visitors, and his speech was canceled at the last minute.

    Now, Yiannopoulos and a newly formed conservative student group are accusing UC Berkeley of trying to silence them once again.

    In the YouTube video, Yiannopoulos and student journalists with the Berkeley Patriot say the university has not negotiated with them fairly, refusing to answer questions about refunding more than $65,000 in venue rental fees if they end up canceling.

    "This was designed to force a cancellation," Yiannopoulos says in the video. "We are not going to cancel Free Speech Week."

    The problem emerged Friday, according to the Berkeley Patriot's editor William Mike Wright.

    "Right now, the way the contract is ... that we're going to be forced to sign ... we're on the hook for that money," Wright said.

    The Berkeley Patriot has been promoting a Free Speech Week for months, saying big names like Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter also will be making appearances.

    UC Berkeley said the event's organizers still have not provided confirmation from the speakers that they will appear, and university spokesman Dan Mogulof said they failed to meet critical deadlines over the past month to pay reservation fees on two large auditoriums.

    "If they wanted this venue so badly, why did they miss three deadlines, and why did payment finally show up on our doorstep, days, weeks after these deadlines had passed?" Mogulof said.

    Mogulof said the school answered all of the organizers' questions. The main disagreement was over the university's no-refund policy, something that he said is standard in every contract.

    "Those questions had been answered weeks earlier," Mogulof said. "They didn't like the answers."

    The Berkeley Patriot said it will hold a news conference Wednesday to update the list and schedule of speakers.

    The university released the following schedule:

    SUNDAY, Sept. 24

    • Savio steps, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Miss Elaine
    • Savio steps, 5-6:45 p.m., speeches by Lucian Wintrich, Lisa DePasquale and Chadwick Moore

    MONDAY, Sept. 25

    • Savio steps, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Heather MacDonald
    • Savio steps, 5-7 p.m., speeches by Monica Crowley and SABO
    • Anna Head Hall, 7:30-9:30 p.m., speakers Jordan Peterson and James Damore. (Campus will not permit late changes to this event, per UCPD security requirements and campus policy.)

    TUESDAY, Sept. 26

    • Lower Sproul Plaza, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Michael Malice
    • Lower Sproul Plaza, 5-7 p.m., speech by Katie Hopkins; interviewer Milo Yiannopoulos to interview subjects Erik Prince, Pamela Geller and David Horowitz. (Campus has informed student organization that it may add speakers to this event if it chooses to do so, per campus policy.)

    WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27

    • Savio steps, noon-12:55 p.m., speech by Mike Cernovich
    • Savio steps, 5-6:55 p.m., speeches by Ariana Rowlands and Stellion Onufrei


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