Conservative speech will not be stifled by violence

Olivia Staser/Staff

Decades ago, Huey Long is claimed to have said that when fascism comes, it will come under the guise of anti-fascism. On Feb. 1, we found out who the real fascists on this campus are, and they are not the Berkeley College Republicans.

Many have taken to the media to state that what happened Wednesday night was not representative of the Berkeley community’s values as a whole. We must disagree. The narrative has largely been that “peaceful protesters” were infiltrated by several dozen “black bloc” anarchists, thereby ascribing innocence to the hundreds of students who cheered as pandemonium unfolded on Sproul Plaza, and who cheered in elation when Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech was called off.

The Berkeley community is guilty by association. Students who exercised their right to free speech by protesting stood idly by as the “black bloc” destroyed their campus and surrounding areas; they stood idly by as Yiannopoulos fans were pepper-sprayed and beaten. No — by and large, the student protesters danced as the campus burned, putting the Roman Emperor Nero to shame.

“Shutting down” Milo Yiannopoulos is not some cute phrase that can bandied about without a second thought — it expressly indicates the use of violence to silence the free speech of others. Let me do what the administrators, faculty and your peers have all failed to do: inform you that you cannot legally “shut down” Milo Yiannopoulos. This is is not civil disobedience, this is not the principled defiance of laws in protest of some unjust arrangement — this is political terrorism. Keep this in mind the next time you decide to use the pen to justify the sword.

As evidenced by the slew of op-eds published by The Daily Californian, the use of violence to obtain power over ideological minorities such as the Berkeley College Republicans is by no means a fringe position here. The day after the chaos, an individual came up to the Berkeley College Republicans tent; smiling, he said it was perfectly acceptable to punch people he suspects of being “white supremacists” or those who support them. If this does not trouble you, then you too are part of the problem.

Let the Berkeley College Republicans also firmly rebut the conspiracy theory repeatedly espoused by Professor Robert Reich on national television, that Milo Yiannopoulos organized the “black bloc” anarchist attack for the sole purpose of giving President Trump an excuse to pull UC Berkeley’s federal funding. Not only is this fanciful claim wholly unsubstantiated and incredibly irresponsible, it is beneath the dignity of an academic and so recognizable a UC Berkeley professor.

Professor Reich’s ludicrous statements constitute an insult to the Berkeley College Republicans, who risked their personal safety to invite Milo Yiannopoulos to campus, and who continue to face harassment and abuse at the hands of the very “anti-fascists” Professor Reich so ardently attempts to absolve of all blame. It would be wise for Professor Reich to apologize and retract his statements on this matter, although that might be too much to hope for.

Groups such as By Any Means Necessary — whose leader recently called for more “militant protests” of the sort seen at Berkeley — labeled their protest a success. We beg to differ. Milo Yiannopoulos will, without qualification, return to Berkeley’s campus, with Alex Jones of InfoWars in tow. The Berkeley College Republicans and conservative students on this campus have not and will never be silenced.

The more riots the black bloc incites, the more support we receive from across the United States in opposition to the fascist tactics of self-styled anti-fascists. The more abuse and harassment we suffer, the more controversial speakers we will invite to campus. We proceed fearlessly because we know we have the president of the United States and the United States Constitution on our side. The Berkeley College Republicans are the new Free Speech Movement. We invite you to join us.

Troy Worden is a member of the Berkeley College Republicans and Pieter Sittler is the internal vice president of the Berkeley College Republicans. Contact the opinion desk at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @dailycalopinion.

A previous version of this op-ed misattributed the quote “The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists” to Winston Churchill. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that Churchill said this quote.

A previous version of this op-ed also incorrectly attributed a direct quote about fascism to Huey Long. In fact, several sources have attributed various quotes of similar sentiment to Long.

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  • William Bell

    You have repeated, verbatim, an earlier comment without addressing the points I made in my last comment, to which you’re supposedly replying.

  • Puppet’s Puppet

    It’s not actionable because the defendant’s honestly believing her conclusion, the allegedly actionable claim–in this case, that what Milo said amounts to advocating genocide–is a successful defense. It does not matter for the purpose of malice how bad the reasoning is, provided it is believable that she was honestly engaged in it. And with all the nonsense you see nowadays, it is utterly believable that one of these lunatic mental deficients would believe that any one of these anti-PC essays defending traditional liberalism amounts to a defense of genocide. Who would contest that? To do so, you’d have to believe that they don’t believe a word of what they say, that they are all doing this craftily to draw attention to themselves. They’d be even purer performance artists and self-promoters, then, than Milo himself!

    This is why libel lawsuits–indeed, even those against non-public figures–tend to deal with more specific, straightforward, easier to pin down claims. Smith shot Jones. Black took bribes. White embezzled from the Treasury. Even these can be quite slippery; why do you think there are entire libraries of entirely baseless, even demonstrably and obviously false, conspiracy theories against all variety of public figures? It’s because plaintiff must demonstrate that defendant does not believe all of the facts she used to draw her conclusion, or that she does not believe the reasoning that she employs to get from step n to step n + 1 in her argument. If that sounds nearly impossible to prove, that’s because it is. And it’s by design. Being a raving lunatic is an (easily executed) successful defense because American libel law is designed to protect the raving lunatic and very narrowly target the mustache-twirling schemer. “Insinuating that [someone] advocates genocide”? Please. There are reams of allegations that all sorts of public figures have physically pulled triggers, have paid others to do so, have met in smoke-filled rooms to say such and such, are receiving such and such payments, and so on. All rather robustly protected by the First Amendment.

    In short, you seem to believe that actual malice involves some sort of “reasonable person” standard. It does not. That is negligence, i.e. what they use in normal libel cases. Public figures, on the other hand, provoke debates of public importance. It becomes a “core” First Amendment matter, if you will, and so our strategy becomes explicitly one of not putting the argument on trial for its “reasonableness”–as though the judge were a professor grading a paper. Instead, we expose it to the light of public scrutiny, to be perused, picked apart, affirmed, refuted, lauded, ridiculed…you get the idea. Again, it’s the American way.

    Perhaps more to the point, we seem to have gotten down the road of having a debate about the actionability of an abstract allegation (actually “insinuation” was your original word) that Milo advocates genocide. And of course, some would be, some would not. Maybe it’s time to take a look at the original statement by Ms. Dang to see if there was anything she actually said that was libelous, instead of merely idiotic.

    (Or maybe it’s not. Life is short!)

  • Anax of Rhodes

    *P R E A C H.*

  • m a

    … and provided him a lot of exposure, receiving several interviews on national news networks, wide-spread coverage, and now it seems- an invitation to appear on Bill Maher. In interviews he comes across as intelligent, congenial, self-deprecating and well versed in the facts upon which his positions are based. Which his why the left so fears him and can’t stand the thought of folks listening to him.
    Nice job, if they wanted less folks exposed to his views it appears to have been an epic failure on that count.
    Any idea what the events did to increase people going to youtube and then finding videos like his interviews with Dave Rubin?

  • m a

    I’m so happy my kids elected to go to a different UC campuses, avoiding the oppressive, anti-intellectual and fascist culture of UC Berkeley.
    Yes, a lot of close-minded liberals in those places. Many also opposed to the principle of free speech, but at least they haven’t as yet descended into active violent fascist intimidation and political terrorism.

  • HA

    There are two kinds of fascists: fascists and anti-fascists.

    Ennio Flaiano

  • Minor quibble: the “fascists of the future” quote, true though it is, wasn’t by Churchill, it’s unsourced.

  • FreedomFan

    Democrats have become what they hate.

  • rufus_t

    Okay, here’s the situation as I see it, cretins have suddenly decided that it’s OK to assault people who they can claim are fascists? And with little to no condemnation (and quite a lot of support) from the mainstream?

    I can’t see this ending well for two reasons:

    Firstly, regardless of how good your black outfit, balaclava and anarcho-communist flag is, there will always be someone of a different political persuasion who regards you as a fascist (which given the uniforms and unprovoked mob violence in creating their own petit hipster krystallnacht isn’t that big a jump), do they then have carte blanche to beat you into a new and better incarnation?

    Secondly, given the choice of an authoritarian heavy-handed-to-the-point-of-oppressive police state where doing anything that those in authority disapprove of is inviting a whole world of hurt but those who are seen to be obeying the law and not causing disruption aren’t victimized, or the framework where the police have effectively been neutered and people whose politics are disapproved of by the black block (no matter how extreme or moderate) can be beaten unconscious on the ground by multiple assailants with no recourse then how long is it going to be before pragmatic and largely not-terribly-political moderates like me (and I dare say quite a large proportion of the rest of the population) start calling for a less-free and more-draconian law enforcement model as a matter of self-defense?

  • Gringao

    The quote is actually close to what Huey Long once said: “When fascism comes to America, it’ll be called ‘anti-fascism.” Prescient.

  • Brakedust

    The madness of the Left has been exposed, not only in the USA but throughout Western Civilization. In its frenzy to destroy white “European” countries, cultures and traditions the Left is escalating organized mayhem, turning the Cold Civil War hot.

  • They shut down Milo’s shit and there was nothing you or the cops could do about it ….

    You mistake restraint for weakness.

  • KillGoogleandFacebook

    The Democrat party is America’s Fascist party. They used to hate black people. Now they hate white people. Same as it ever was.

  • Joshua Grabow

    Anyone to the right of Stalin best be tooling up. These antifa/black bloc idiots aren’t going to stop with Milo. The support of the rest of the left has been illuminating. The police in California no longer protect the citizenry, and will not interfere in the depredations of the left. The First and the Second, people. Or, if the situation requires it, the Second, then the First.


    I thought the last place that I would see our democracy start to die would be on a liberal arts college campus, but that is what’s happening across this nation. No one has been seriously hurt thus far but it won’t be long until someone is killed. When that happens it will not be very pleasant. The voices on the Right will not go quietly into the night. I urge the Left to keep your people in line and peaceful. I support your right to carry signs and to rally against Mr. Trump. It’s a sign of a health democracy. But when you start to destroying property and hurting people you are no longer exercising your constitutional rights, indeed at that point you become a threat to the Constitution by recommending assassination of the POTUS and a military coup de etat, as many on the Left have, then those of us who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, feel compelled to restore order.

  • MickMcMick

    If these thugs normalize violence they will unleash their own destructor. Conservatives are restrained by their own sense of lawfulness and fairness, and awareness that violence is not an end in itself, unlike these cowardly masked avengers of Che. But if it’s decided that the state will not protect them, then my money is not on the special snowflakes in their safe spaces with their cocoa and footie pajamas. It’s on the NRA-joining, family-protecting, hard-working, tax-paying, individuals who have been picked on, mocked, threatened, prosecuted and harrassed for too long.

  • klgmac

    You go boy. We need more like you.

  • anotherhappywarrior

    Here is what I’m seeing in what happened in Berkeley. The bigger problem is the administrators of the entire UC system. Along with your mayor. And police department. All stood by while rioters destroyed things, like giant toddlers. If administrators, the mayor and the police didn’t want this destruction, then it would have been stopped. California has abandoned rule of law and is chaotic. I would hate to be a business owner in Berkeley or anywhere else in California.

    • klgmac

      “I would hate to be a business owner in Berkeley or anywhere else in California.”

      That’s why they are leaving in droves.

  • Patrick Cappadocia

    The Right of Free Speech is meaningless if no one has the right to hear what you have to say. The Social Justice Authoritarians LOVE LOVE *LOVE* to chortle on about how Milo’s first amendment rights were not impugned… but the reality is that depriving others of their civil rights.

    It’s book burners logic. We’re not stopping you from WRITING the book, we’re just going to burn every book you write so that no one may READ it.

    • Anax of Rhodes

      Excellent comparison.

  • Douglas Levene

    It’s not really accurate to describe the black bloc shock troops as “fascists.” The truth is they are more like the Chinese Communist Red Guards, with the only difference being that they haven’t killed anyone yet.

    • Red fascists, not black fascists, as if that made much of a difference.

  • subotaibahadur

    >>>>”Conservative speech will not be stifled by violence”<<<<

    No, but it has been by a combination of violence and protection of the violence by the government, police, and the University.

    1) Just as long as we all know what the rules are going forward.
    2) Anyone who hires a non-STEM UC Berkeley grad deserves the problems he will be getting. The school has chosen sides.

    Subotai Bahadur

    • “Anyone who hires a non-STEM UC Berkeley grad deserves the problems he will be getting. The school has chosen sides.”

      To the contrary, the administration has consistently been in support of Milo’s right to speak, and the University police are even now investigating who instigated the riots.

      • James Dosher

        Any arrests yet? Even with a student on The Daily Californian bragging about being a member … nothing? It isn’t like the black block members are geniuses, or even that careful. It as a criminal conspiracy spread over Twitter. It was a criminal conspiracy which involved a person being beaten unconscious, destruction of private and public property. Those felony charges stack up. Promise one or two immunity and watch the whole group fold up … but that would assume the Berkeley Police were actually interested in any arrests & convictions.

        They did nothing when the violence was gathering, nothing when it happened and now, few expect them to do anything due to the obvious political bias of the political establishment which signs their paychecks. After the violence leading up to the SHOOTING outside Milo’s appearance in Seattle, the Berkeley PD couldn’t claim to be ignorant of the forces arrayed against his visit there. Given ample time to prepare … they did nothing when the crisis came. Are we to assume incompetence? If so, shouldn’t people be losing their jobs? Nope?

        No. The message is clear. Unless some external (Federal) force drops the hammer down on Berkeley, nothing will be done and the forces of the Right had best beware. The students will continue to believe they can behave violently to anyone with opinions they dislike until some sort of punishment is finally handed down.

  • Californio

    Well, that escalated quickly. All the occupiers at Berkeley are arguing about who is the least culpable in destroying California. That massive earthquake destroying the entire state cannot come soon enough.

  • Two Spirit Bear

    You approved the comment “You fascist Democrats are trash.” but you wouldn’t approve mine? Point proven.

  • PatrioticUSGlory

    One of the most eloquent opinions I’ve ever read.

  • mdmusterstone

    Let’s get some perspective here. The First Amendment is so radical that it has been under attack from various groups from day one. It protects “dirty, rotten, no-good” language, written and spoken. It wasn’t meant to protect language that doesn’t need any protection e.g. good roads, good weather but the most hateful and filthy.

    Within living memory “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” was banned from entering the country. Every year your local library has a Banned Books Week and the table upon which examples are piled groans under the weight. You’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t have some favorite book or movie they feel should be banned, just for you other people, you know for your own good you understand; it would corrupt you but I’m immune. See links below.

    The First and Second Amendment assume more human agency than most people will allow. Me? Well, I think looking, speaking and writing are not crimes and the means to self defense are within the kine of legislatures.

    The Fascist riot in Berkeley was Nazi book burning in every sense, minus the brown shirts (they got their colors wrong is all) and arm bands. It went down quit well so expect more of it.

  • Steve Gregg

    The argumentum ad baculum is a fallacious response to free speech. It’s cheerful employment by the Left illustrates the lack of an intelligent rebuttal. Your gleeful violence discredits you in the eyes of America.

  • Thomas Gallowglass

    “…smiling, he said it was perfectly acceptable to punch people he suspects of being “white supremacists” or those who support them.”

    Let’s see…I am told behavior like this is how you ‘get more Trump’, so behavior like this actually ‘supports’ Trumpism, and if Trumpism is associated with white supremacy (as I’m told by Media Matters) then this smiling gentleman is a supporter of white supremacy! Can I therefore punch him?

    • Patrice Cassidy Ripley

      By all means, punch for more trump!

  • OttoDoubleZero

    Berkeley is once again on the front lines of the right to free speech. Sad that those who were on the right side 50 years ago are now manning the anti-free speech barricades.

  • mnemonicmike

    Close Berkeley down. It’s contributed nothing but left-wing press for many years. Be cool guys … but go away. This isn’t American tolerance, it’s control by left-wing idiots, exactly as it has been for at least 50 years. Will the last person leaving California please turn off the lights and post something in Spanish congratulating the Conquistadores?

    • a6z

      Berkeley mathematics and physics are amazing. I wouldn’t want to try to speak about Berkeley chemistry or astronomy–too far from my specialty–but I would be surprised if they weren’t very good, too. Very possibly other departments are distinguished.

      Do not judge the whole university by the undergraduates. Not really your province, is it?

      • Anax of Rhodes

        It’s true. The hard sciences and engineering aren’t demonstrably infected with craziness. Those students are too busy actually doing homework to pass their classes.

    • palvaro

      well there you have it. mnemonicmike has declared that berkeley hasn’t contributed anything in 50 years. thanks mike. where’d you get your degree?

      • mnemonicmike

        Who cares? I have one (in engineering), but that’s got nothing to do with Berkeley. And I’ve been to Berkeley many times, so I know of that whereof I speak.

        • palvaro

          so you won’t say where you got your degree (which is obviously in engineering). got it.

  • disqus_saASoogd1x

    You don’t want to normalize violence, lefties. You won’t like it when violence is normalized

    • HA

      If you don’t know the difference between a .223 and a 5.56, you probably don’t want to normalize violence.

      • Anax of Rhodes

        Ooo, that’s clever.

  • I_Am_Me

    Whiny commie.

    Is there any other type?

    UC called asking for donations. I told them not until they get the anti-speech movement under control. I probably wouldn’t donate even after that. Having my money taken at gunpoint as a Californian to be spent on indoctrinating thousands of simpering and violent collectivists is pretty rude enough.

  • Shadowstar36

    yeah it’s really brave getting a mob to fight innocents. And the cops were told to stand down by an racist communist mayor.

    • m a

      To be fair, it may have been as much about the economics of legal liability then her own views. A true bureaucrat.

      – If a cop gets involved and uses any amount of force, there is a chance of a lawsuit for misuse/excessive force.

      – If the cops stand around like potted plants- no legal liability. There is no liability for police failing to protect any individual.

      CA government code:
      845. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish a police department or otherwise to provide police protection service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service.

      846. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for injury caused
      by the failure to make an arrest or by the failure to retain an arrested person
      in custody.
      At UC Berkeley, you are prohibited from having the effective means for self-defense and must rely on the police for protection when they have no duty to do so.

  • roccolore

    You fascist Democrats are trash.

  • disqus_Z3EtwVAKkk

    Winston Churchill never said that. It might be attributed to Huey Long, but definitely not Winston Churchill.

    • The Masked Avatar

      Yes, he said it. I was there. We were golfing. Big hitter, Winston Churchill. Long.

  • LibertyIsTheAnswer

    Why did Milo’s speech need to be shut down?

  • LibertyIsTheAnswer

    Awesome! Juggalos can go see ICP and others can go see Milo and no one gets their head bashed in.

  • LibertyIsTheAnswer

    It used to be that almost every US citizen believed these words: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

    Now, not so much.

    • JTHC75

      Thank you. What happened to this idea? The ACLU defended Nazis who wanted to march before a community full of Holocaust survivors. The speech was abhorrent, and yet we (used to) celebrate the ACLU’s victory– not for the Nazis, but for the principle of the rule of law and the idea that unpopular speech much be protected in a liberal democratic society.

      Now people get giddy at the idea of punching Nazis. I agree that Nazis suck, but they’ve been around for a long time. Engaging in street violence with them must be music to their ears.

      • Shadowstar36

        8 years of an anti-American president mixed with pro-communist universities, mainstream media and a boat full of lies

        • m a

          Actually, decades of state/city and then federal government aiding and abetting the violation of immigration law kind of tubed the idea of us being a nation of laws a while ago. That and congress exempting themselves from the laws, civil asset forfeiture without ever a crime being charged much less a conviction, disparity in marijuana laws between fed and state, Obama kind of intensified it using the FBI/DoJ/ATF/IRS to go after political opponents and businesses he didn’t like,.

      • JunkScienceSkeptic

        To be honest, most of those advocating punching Nazis would wet themselves if they were face to face with a Nazi, a neo-Nazi or even an Illinois Nazi –

        • lspanker

          Agreed… they are awfully tough guys when they know that their opposition is physically restrained.

        • concerndcitizen

          These people are giving Nazis a good name.

      • teapartydoc

        They can’t find any real Nazis so they’re settling for whatever reasonable facsimile they can come up with. Dad isn’t available, so if you happen to be around, you’re it.

    • AMTbuff

      The ACLU will defend you to the death, unless donors begin to cancel their memberships. When defending your freedom reduces their income, it’s bye bye. Like the rest of us, they are capitalists in practice.

      • ChupaMe

        Or if it’s a Second Amendment issue. The ACLU tends to ignore that one.

        “How does an ACLU lawyer count to ten?”

        “One, three, four, five. . .”

        • Felix Dzerzhinsky

          It’s possible to care about more than thing. It’s impossible to care about everything. The ACLU’s agenda doesn’t include gun rights. Let it go.

          • m a

            Although I think they should be involved, I can see the rational of not expending your resources in an area you believe others are fighting for- Second Amendment Foundation, NRA, etc.
            I’d give them a bit more credit if they’d at least issues statements in support of those cases, even if they don’t expend the effort to file cases themselves or create amici curia briefs.

          • SheikhYerbouti

            To support the 2nd amendment would be admitting that the other amendments cannot survive without it.

  • Lucius

    To the authors:
    Don’t begin an article with a Churchill quote that is not supported by the historical record. In terms of tactics, what the leftists did at the Milo event was not far off from what white segregationists where doing to civil rights speakers in the 1950s and 1960s. You have the moral and political upper-hand. Why muddy the water (and undercut your credibility) with a quote that you could have discovered was unsubstantiated in about 10 minutes on Google?

    • I_Am_Me

      Tu quoque.

      And what party did those white segregationists belong to?

      This has nothing to do with the “flip” of the parties. The Democrat party history is a continuous one of trying (or actually in the case of slavery) controlling people. They’ve just upped their game with their totalitarian thoughcrime tactics.

      • “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

        Lyndon B Johnson (Democrat President)

  • Thaddeus

    Winston Churchill never said that, lmao

  • “Churchill as the originator of the phrase certainly seems to be more mythical than factual. The main source for Churchill on the web,, has no record of him ever saying it; and the Winston Churchill Society is unable to provide any evidence, either (you can contact them via email).”

    • ESPM360

      You have given me nothing new. Already know all of this stuff. So what?

  • ESPM360

    “The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists,” said the great Winston Churchill long ago. Nothing like a Churchill quote to bring one to reality. Good job on your op ed. You have way more support than you know.

    One of my favorite Churchill quotes was an exchange with Lady Astor. “If I Were Your Wife I’d Put Poison in Your Tea!” “If I Were Your Husband I’d Drink It”

  • Leonard Muise

    Fine, Milo, Alex, and the College Republicans have proven what everyone across the spectrum would have predicted: 1. A large number of protestors blocked Milo’s speech. 2. A minority of protestors destroyed property. 3. These facts were used by Republicans to declare the entire student body, the institution, the town, and all Liberals to be Fascists. Everybody played their part.

    The script could not have gone better for the College Republicans. They probably don’t support much of the absurd and inhumane ideas coming from their invited guests. But now they don’t have to discuss whether they support the ideas for which they’ve provided major publicity.

    • Alex S.

      The large number of protesters could not have blocked Milo’s speech without the violent actions of the minority. And that minority mob did not just destroy property — they beat up and pepper-sprayed would-be attendees who did not initiate violence, and intimidated other would-be attendees through threats and menacing.

      The “peaceful” majority of protesters who stood by and let the violent Black Bloc element run rampant, and then celebrated their victory which was only achieved through the actions of that violent element, is also culpable.

  • atlc

    Well said.

    For all their talk of fascism, only one group donned black uniforms, black masks, and wood poles. Only one group went out into the night, smashing windows, setting fires, and beating men and women with 4X4s and bear spray to prevent a homosexual from speaking on campus.

    Here are two videos from that night showing protesters beating unconscious people. Sickening and shameful (ironically, the people doing the beating love to shout “shame, shame, shame.”)

    • Shadowstar36

      yep … the real Nazis.. Of course they were of the left too.

  • palvaro

    you sad, sad little boys

    • lspanker

      The “sad, sad little boy” here is the one incapable of providing a reasoned rebuttal.Many of us have been of the opinion that the American left is increasingly inherently intolerant, repressive and violent. The actions of the Black Bloc-BAMN-Antifa crowd have made that clear. It’s also quite clear that while the current crop of Csl students fancy themselves as proponents of “free speech”, the environment of politically correct groupthink in which they have been raised turns them into sniveling cowards and crybabies when placed in a situation where their own comfy worldview is challenged.

      • George Turner

        Under 18 USC §241, Conspiracy Against Rights, every one of the antifa people, including any planners, could be sent to federal prison for ten years or put to death, depending on how out of hand the activities get.

    • nevada_geon

      Gosh, golly, geepers, what’d we do wrong, Mr. Oracle of the True Path?

    • roccolore

      Democrats are the sad little boys who hate free speech.

      • palvaro

        you seem smart

  • Omg

    Also Haha Alex Jones, the man who thinks the government controls hurricanes. You guys are winning the race to the bottom.

    • LibertyIsTheAnswer

      They only want to bring him in to make a point about people being allowed to speak without violence committed against them.

      • Omg

        What a great idea! Maybe next they’ll invite David Duke. Giving a platform to bigoted wingnuts is totally worth making a point about invoking the power of the State to protect the right to publicity of those who already have millions and a radio platform!

        • LibertyIsTheAnswer

          Yeah, Jones is a loon. But this is an ever upward-ratcheting chain of events where one absurdity (the Milo protest) begats another – Jones on campus.

          It actually IS important. Free speech is in danger on college campuses. I have no desire to go see Jones, but I support his right to come on campus and talk.

          • Inviting awful or loony people just to prove a point has a little merit I guess, but also aligns those who invite them with the awful or loony things they espouse.

            I also support the right of free speech of even the most terrible or crazy individuals, and would defend those who speak up for that right, ethically or legally.

            But I think there’s a difference between the ACLU defending the right of the Nazis to march in Skokie and the ACLU inviting them to march.

            But of course, I support the Republican group’s right to blur that line by inviting these people…

          • kwijino

            Considering we on the right think Hillary or say, Rachel Maddow is a loon, loon is a subjective term. Taking time to listen to the other side, not so loony. Less arrogant that way.

          • My point wasn’t about listening to those one believes to be loons, but–taking the premise of the person to whom I was responding–believing that one is a loon, and nevertheless intentionally inviting that person to speak, at least in part BECAUSE you believe him/her to be a loon.

            So unless you’re advocating that right wing groups invite Hillary or Rachel Maddow to speak (rather than someone they believe represents and supports them and their views)–EVEN if done as an act to prove their commitment to free speech–I have to respectfully suggest you missed the point.

            But as I said to the other commenter, I would certainly support their (or your) right to do so. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.

          • kwijino

            I find Milo to be arrogant, personally, but if he was invited to
            speak, people deserved better than they got. If you don’t wish to hear
            what he says, fine, but let him have a say. He was talking to Republicans on campus, not the Democrats.

            I listen to Steven Crowder, and he does bring on people from the left and tries to show them respect. He points out things like how he’s not a big Trump fan, but like most of us he thought Hillary would be a worse choice.

            A debate can only happen if the two sides aren’t thoroughly disgusted with one another and can try to find common ground instead of just repeating talking points they happen to agree with.

          • William Bell

            What basis is there for your assumption that those who invited Alex Jones agree with you that he’s crazy?

          • Again, I was responding to “LibertyIsTheAnswer”‘s argument, and his calling Jones a loon, but rationalizing his possible invitation as a ratcheting up of absurdity.

            I mean, I completely agree with “Liberty” (and the person he was responding to) that Alex Jones is nuttier’n a Georgia peanut farm, but if the Republican group that may invite him or those who go to hear him speak don’t, then my argument doesn’t apply to them.

            If the group and audience agrees with and wants to associate themselves with the things Milo or Jones say, then my argument doesn’t apply to them. I was arguing against inviting people who express ideas they don’t agree with and would not wish to associate themselves, strictly to make a point about free speech.

          • SheikhYerbouti

            OK, if I think you’re loony, it’s ok for violent thugs to prevent you from speaking. Is that your point?

          • Not at all. You’re obviously not reading my comments.

            At no time have I defended any violence or vandalism, and in my first reply to “Liberty” 2 days ago –(as well as a reply to “Kwijino” last night that got stuck in the disquis spam filter, but will hopefully get posted here eventually)– I clearly say I support the free speech of all, no matter how terrible or crazy I or anyone else thinks a particular speaker is.

            If you want to speak out against me or those who invited me to speak in any nonviolent form (media articles or comments, signs and yelling outside the venue, pointed questions during the q&a showing me up inside) because you think me a loon, I’m down with that.

            I am completely opposed to vandalism or violence to stop me or anyone else from speaking. (I’m not opposed to using force to defend myself or others if violence does break out–I’m not a pacifist–but the ones throwing the first punches, especially to silence someone else–are always wrong.)

            While I didn’t do so here–because my comments were not about violence, but about the wisdom or efficacy of inviting people with whom one does not agree, strictly for the purpose of proving one’s commitment to free speech–I have frequently spoken out against blac block (and now antifas) violence and vandalism. That they and I disagree with Milo no more associates me with the things they do than anti-abortion protesters as a whole should be associated with those who shot doctors or bombed clinics.

            Violent radicals are violent radicals, whatever their supposed reasons for committing the violence they do. They seldom if ever represent the whole, however.

        • roccolore

          You fascist Democrats are the bigots who hate free speech.

        • PatrioticUSGlory

          Is this the same David Duke who just endorsed Keith Ellison — the anti-Semitic Muslim Democrat congressman — to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee?

        • m a

          I think he’s already booked to address the DNC and further expound on his endorsement of Ellison.

        • Anax of Rhodes

          The crazier the left gets, the saner that people like Alex Jones appear.

          • StanFromSomewhere

            I’m going to play nitpicker and suggest “more sane”, but we get your point.

        • SheikhYerbouti

          ..versus the Soros/Goldman Sachs billions and mainstream media of the left, it hardly seems fair.

    • roccolore

      Fascist Democrats like you are cowards.

    • BannedbyBreitbart

      The joy of free speech is that when an idiot utilizes it he removes any doubt about his stupidity.

    • Actually, while your generation of know-nothings were busy decrying “offensive” Halloween costumes, we were busy winning the White House, the House, the Senate and the majority of state legislatures.

  • Omg

    You confuse your right to speech with your right to a platform at an institution.

    • TNT

      A student organization invited Milo to speak on campus. The university accepted this event. Those who disagreed with the event were within their legal right to peaceful protest, so as to voice their disapproval of Milo’s views and the event. However, when people destroy property in a fit of rage and violently repress others from exercising then they are acting outside of the law.

      • Gargamel

        Oh no, property was destroyed? The horror!

        • LibertyIsTheAnswer

          You think it’s ok that property was destroyed? If you think that, why?

        • Buddy_Bizarre

          It’s pretty easy to be dismissive of property destruction when you don’t have any yourself.

          • Dinobot

            it’s pretty easy to be dismissive of property destruction when other people’s property is being destroyed. It will be a different story when Gargamel’s property is being destroyed with him being held helpless by the authorities.

          • Paul Johnson

            He probably doesn’t even believe in property.

          • lspanker

            Methinks you nailed it.

        • lspanker

          Spoken like someone who probably isn’t employed, doesn’t pay taxes and has a negative net worth, like your typical anarcho-thug.

        • Rad4Cap

          Your address? Since you don’t care about property being destroyed, they can start with YOURS.

    • LibertyIsTheAnswer

      Berkeley is a public institution. It is part of the government. The government must treat all non-violent speech the same and must defend the 1st Amendment rights of all without regard to content.

    • Puppet’s Puppet

      You mean their right to invite anyone they wish to speak, with their own allotted funding, at a school that is considered a branch of the government and thus Constitutionally required to not discriminate among viewpoints no matter how unpopular or even repugnant, without the content of that speech meeting your own personal ideological approval, and without being physically assaulted by those who object to the political opinions expressed by said speech? Yes, they seem very confused indeed.

    • roccolore

      Fascist Democrats like you have no problem with radical Islamists and cop-haters on campus.

    • Shadowstar36

      you millennials need to learn civics… such a disgrace for most of your generation. Brainwashed by Marxists, who don’t realize how economics and the world actually works.

      • Paul Johnson

        Most of their generation? How about some of the baby-boomers, most of mine, all of the millennials, and probably, sadly, most of gen Z.

    • Alex S.

      The platform had already been granted by the institution’s legitimate agents. A violent mob overrode the institution’s decision.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    You and Nisa Dang are opposite ends of the spectrum here, but you share a tendency to hyperbolize. She says that counseling nonviolence in the face of fascists advocating genocide is tantamount to violence; you say that the protesters who allowed the Antifa to commit acts of violence are guilty of violence as well.

    How about all of you cut out the silly, over-inflated rhetoric for starters?

    • Puppet’s Puppet

      Did they say they were guilty of violence? They may have, and I didn’t read it thoroughly enough. But from what I saw they described the nonviolent protesters as “exercising their right to free speech.” They did mention that they did nothing to discourage the violence (by contrast, on other occasions many protesters of all ideological stripes have actively attempted to discourage violence at their demonstrations). They had harsh words for this failure, and for those who express the opinion that physically shutting down objectionable speech, even by violence, is not an abhorrent thing to do. That seems fair.

      Condemning repugnant statements made by Milo, or Alex Jones, or whatever, certainly would not amount to depriving them of free speech, nor of accusing them of “committing violence” with their words. So likewise, condemning repugnant statements made by the Antifa enablers and apologists certainly doesn’t amount to depriving them of free speech, nor of accusing them of committing violence.

      • William Bell

        Insinuating that Milo Yiannopoulos advocates genocide is libellous.

        • Puppet’s Puppet

          It certainly is not only false but ridiculous, but Milo would almost certainly lose a libel suit–although he would win in many countries. (We have a uniquely strong and expansive commitment to free speech in the USA, and I for one like it that way–and so does Milo, who comes from a country with much weaker free-speech values.)

          There is a robust and distinguished history of fanatics making fools of themselves declaring absolutely everything to be “genocide.” Meat is genocide, silence is genocide, patriarchy is genocide, Bush or Obama is for genocide, and so forth; you get the picture. We provide broad protection for these bizarre claims (i.e. an extremely narrow definition of libel); rather than muzzling them with the power of the state, we allow them to be exposed to all for their foolishness and absurdity. It’s the American way.

          • William Bell

            In calling it libellous I didn’t necessarily mean that Milo could win a lawsuit — although maybe he could. Because, as a well-known polemicist, he is a “public figure,” he would have to prove “malice” — i.e., prove that the defendants knew that their defamatory statements were false or put them out with reckless disregard as to whether they were true or false. That doesn’t seem to be a terribly difficult obstacle, as I’m pretty sure no one could find a published statement — in Breitbart, YouTube, or wherever — in which Milo espoused genocide.

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            That would not be remotely sufficient for actual malice. That is precisely the purpose of that stricter standard, to make sure that something like this would not leave a defendant criticizing a public figure vulnerable to defamation suits. And, in fact, even if Milo were less famous he might be considered to be a “limited purpose public figure” simply for having “thrust himself” into the public by making a public statement to that effect. This is considered an “issue of public concern.” Additionally, the genocide matter, although it appears straightforward to you, could easily be characterized as a matter of political opinion by a defendant. Consider: Milo does not recognize the gender identity of trans persons. Trans people have been killed over their identity multiple times in this country. Furthermore, in other countries, and throughout history, they have been subject to widespread and systematic persecution. Furthermore, Milo’s rhetoric is dehumanizing much as Hutu rhetoric dehumanized the Tutsi in the 90s. Furthermore the erasure of trans identity advocated by Milo amount to the erasure of the trans people, much as many have attempted to do with the Jews or Native Americans.

            Now, is this a good argument that what Milo says amounts to supporting genocide? Of course not; it’s an absurd and moronic one. But it’s allowed to be, because absurd and moronic people have rights too. This reasoning would earn an F in any classroom, but a judge is not in the position of grading a school paper for its quality, so to speak. He will be very inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt. Basically, to put it informally, political speech is a core First Amendment Act in this country, and judges will cut it a very wide berth. Our civilizational philosophy is to expose such positions to the light of day and the “marketplace of ideas,” and let them fail there, and to be extremely cautious and fearful of the idea of a judge evaluating a political position for its reasonableness or sensibility. Again, it’s the American way.

    • William Bell

      To say or insinuate that violence was warranted to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from addressing an audience because he is a fascist who advocates genocide goes beyond mere exaggeration; it is out-and-out lying.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        How is it lying? It’s an opinion, and I don’t see any reason to think it was anything but the author’s actual opinion, sincerely expressed.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid.

        • William Bell

          It’s a statement of fact, not a subjective opinion. And I don’t think it was sincere because there is simply no basis for it. The author was either lying or hurling the accusation with reckless disregard as to whether it was true or false.