Protesters Gather, Arrests Made at Ann Coulter’s UC Berkeley Visit

University police report multiple masked protesters were arrested before event started

As conservative pundit Ann Coulter was set to speak at UC Berkeley on Wednesday night for an event named "Adios America" protesters and counter-protesters gathered outside the venue. 

Police were on hand to monitor the protests outside Wheeler Hall with the hope they would not get out of hand. But long before the 9 p.m. event started, police reported multiple masked protesters were arrested.

Later Wednesday night, police confirmed seven people were arrested.

Coulter, meanwhile, was accompanied by heavy security into the auditorium. She spoke for about 30 minutes before leaving abruptly.

Anti-fascist groups made the call out on social media for demonstrators to gather and protest at Coulter's event.

"We brought her here to talk about immigration," said Matt Ronnau, Berkeley College Republicans president.

Coulter is so far-right she has blasted President Donald Trump for not cracking down hard enough on immigrants protected under DACA, otherwise known as dreamers. Cal says more than 500 dreamers are students on campus.

"The university is rolling the red carpet for these fascists speakers to come and spew their hate," demonstrator Alex Hernandez said.

But Ronnau said students deserve to hear all viewpoints.

"They don't hear  that right-wing perspective and so I hope that a lot of students who don't agree with Ann come and ask questions," Ronnau said.

In February 2017, fiery protests erupted on campus when far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was supposed to talk on campus. Masked protesters threw fireworks, rocks and even Molotov cocktails. The university was forced to clean up the damage, which cost Cal $100,000.

"We've learned a lot from 2017, particularly how we police the events and I think you've seen over time our transition toward direct engagement and intervention in these vents where officers are separating crowds,"  Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said.

In April 2017, Coulter was scheduled to visit the campus, but the event was canceled over security concerns.

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