UC Berkeley, City Bracing for More Protests During Free Speech Week

Planning for more protests. That's the position the City of Berkeley and University of California officials are finding themselves in.

"Free Speech Week" is scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Cal campus and no one knows what to expect with Milo Yiannopoulos and former White House strategist Steve Bannon on the list as speakers.

On Thursday, hundreds came to protest conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's speech at UC Berkeley.

On Friday, UC President Janet Napolitano reacted to his visit and said "there's a lesson learned on every one of these."

Napolitano said UC campuses are targets for provocateurs, but she is focused on upholding the free speech tradition as long as the speakers and their sponsors pay for security costs.

Keeping people safe during Thursday's rally cost about $600,000. More protests are planned during Free Speech Week.

If those planning it are able to do the necessary leg work to pull it off, Free Speech Week will cost them, the city and the university a lot of money.

The Berkeley Patriot Group is still working to get their paperwork together for Free Speech Week.

The editor-in-chief and head of the Berkeley Patriot, Mike Wright, spoke to NBC Bay Area about how the University is handling Yiannopoulos’ upcoming visit. According to Wright, the school was late in responding to specific questions regarding the contract for the event, making it difficult for

Yiannopoulos’ team to wire the necessary funds for the event in time for the deadline. 

“I’m saddened because I thought better of my University,” said Wright about the miscommunication. “I trusted them.” 

Wright said the event will continue, with or without the indoor venues. 

“Milo is going to come no matter what,” said Wright. 

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