Conservative writer Ben Shapiro asks UC Berkeley to avoid violence at event

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In a Twitter thread posted Monday, conservative speaker and writer Ben Shapiro called for everyone attending his event to remain nonviolent and demanded that the Berkeley Police Department “do their jobs” to stop any violence from breaking out.

Shapiro, who is scheduled to speak in Zellerbach Hall on Sept. 14, stated during a Fox News interview Friday that he anticipates Antifa will come to his event, and he asked that people not come to his event “ready to do violence in defense of my free speech.” He added that protecting free speech was the job of campus police exclusively, since the Young America’s Foundation had already paid the almost $16,000 security fee, which he called unfair.

The Berkeley College Republicans have hosted Ben Shapiro in the past, inviting him to speak on campus in April 2016 to no backlash.

In his tweets Monday, Shapiro stated that the police had no excuses for not stopping violence and that preventing people from engaging in political violence would maintain the “covenant of civilized society.”

“The alt-right is repulsive. Antifa is repulsive. We should all stand together against political violence. Join us, Berkeley,” Shapiro tweeted.

In an article published Monday for conservative publication the Daily Wire, Shapiro condemned BPD for not doing enough to stop the violence that occurred in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park during Sunday’s rally and counterprotests. He went on to state that if the police did not prevent violence during his event, campus federal funding should be ended. 

“If the police refuse to do their jobs, or if they are told not to do their jobs by governmental or administrative figures, Congress should move immediately to cut off funding for the campus and any police agencies who do not tamp down violence,” Shapiro wrote.

Ashley Wong is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @wongalum.

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  • Clark Sullivan

    Shapiro’s speech is anything but free… Why doesn’t he disclose his speaking fee?… In addition to the security costs… Boy, Young Republicans must be sitting on piles of cash… The city of Berkeley ought to send him a bill too…

    • anposter

      Nah. The tide has turned. The good people of Berkeley, like those throughout the country, are coming around to realize that to acknowledge and oppose the radical, violent, and anti-free speech ideology/escapades of groups like BAMN, Antifa, etc. is to affirm truly progressive politics. Liberals have had it with the brow-beating from these totalitarian trolls.

      • Rollie

        Very well said, anposter. I think that the other nut to crack is to convince those liberals who are nonviolent but perhaps oversensitive (e.g., students), to not fear opposing speech as something dangerous or even violent, but as an opportunity to test and temper their own arguments, and thereby strengthen the fight for the causes they support. A confident argument never fears to be challenged, and emerges only wiser from the experience.

      • Clark Sullivan

        Sorry, but like most Americans, you’re ignorant and lack history and political education. Antifa is any thing but a totalitarian group, as it is governed by consensus. And please discuss neo-Nazzies and white supremacists openly discussing murder on message boards, as well as committing an ISIS style attack to murder a young woman.
        All liberals are interested in is appeasing right wing jackoffs like Ben Shapiro and ask Neville Chamberlain what appeasement of the Nazzies did for Great Britain. If you recall, allowing Nazzies freedom of speech gave them the impetus to start WW2.
        In short, keep studying your history and political science so you don’t reveal the depth of your ignorance.

        • Rollie

          Allowing speech doesn’t cause evil to take power, suppression of it does. Look around the world, and you will see that the places where internal conflicts are most violent, most victimizing of innocents, are those with little or no free speech, nor any iterative process of any kind. Certainly no First Amendment-style protections that would allow civil debate, and so demonstraters take to violence as the only option they can think of.

          As for your particular example, that of the original Nazis, consider that Hitler was most inspired by having his freedom and speech suppressed rather than allowed, and jailed for it too. The experience was the very cause of his writing Mein Kampf, and arguably allowed recruits to his movement to see him, and by extension themselves, as victims in German society. Consider too that once in power, the Nazis eliminated freedom of speech for dissenters, which certainly prevented any meaningful counter-movement within the reich.

          Suppressing speech doesn’t eliminate evil, nor even diminish its spread. It merely sends evil into the shadows—for a time—where it’s strengthened by a self- perceived victimhood that is, ironically, partially validated by having its rights to speech denied. Rather than being allowed to parade down Main Street in its clownish bedsheets or with its lost-cause battle flags, where decent people can see its adherents for the fools they are, evil bides its time preparing violent means to express itself because peaceful ones were denied to it. Violence now has an excuse.

          If white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Antifa and other jackasses have to exist—and I wish that they didn’t—I want them to show themselves. (So long as police enforce legal behavior and arrest criminals.) I’m not afraid of their messages if freely expressed, because I have faith that decent people will see them for what they are.
          On the other hand, if their messages are suppressed or censored, that’s when I’ll start to worry.

          • SecludedCompoundTTYS

            Youre arguing with a 12 year old child, he will only say inaccurate personal attacks about you not being woke about the right History…

        • SecludedCompoundTTYS

          Lol Mr. Dunning Kruger…

        • lspanker

          Antifa is any thing but a totalitarian group

          Antifa is the quintessential example of a totalitarian group, whose followers beat people up thanks to their own ignorance and intolerance of other ideas.

  • Rollie

    I’d like to see Chancellor Christ attend the event, without participating in any Q&A. This would show the proper support for the principle of free speech, without revealing any of her personal feelings on the topic, or on the speaker at hand. It would be neither a show of agreement with, nor opposition to Shapiro’s message. The university adminsitration’s role is to remain professional and neutral regarding speakers’ messages, playing no direct part in the opinions that students form, other than to emphasize the First Amendment itself. Hosting Shapiro is not an begrudging concession that the university grants while holding its nose, nor a heroic act, but instead it is the plain, Constitutional duty of the professionals who run the institution. Speakers will remain forever controversial–that’s a good thing, in my book–but protecting their rights to free speech, and by extension the rights of their student-sponsors, should cease to be so.

  • freedomhawk

    It is actually illegal for the university to charge student groups security fees. But YAF did pay it anyway . Now UCB is not releasing tickets till right before the event. Sad.

  • FreedomFan

    The berzerk Berkeley Leftist must must must stamp out Ben’s free speech. Otherwise everyone with a brain will listen to his reasoned logic and realize what moral midgets have infested Berzerkely.

  • Killer Marmot

    He added that protecting free speech was the job of campus police exclusively, since the Young America’s Foundation had already paid the almost $16,000 security fee, which he called unfair.

    By charging such fees, the university is rewarding the Antifa for their tactics.

  • thompson_richard

    Morton became the starter in the sixth game of his sophomore season in 1962. Back then his nickname was “Big Hummer” and his production dominated the Golden Bears offense output.

    As a sophomore in 1962, he played in only five games because of a knee injury, but still managed 905 passing yards, a 54% completion rate and nine touchdowns. As a junior in 1963 he already owned most of Cal’s all-time quarterback records.

    In his three seasons as a starter at Cal, he never played on a winning team. Morton completed 185 of 308 passes for 2,121 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior season in 1964, but even with a losing 3–7 record,

  • CSears

    I’m not sure how Shapiro can call the alt-right repulsive, although it is repulsive, when he was an editor for Breitbart through into March 2016.

    • Killer Marmot

      The accepted definition of “alt-right” has changed over the last year. Before it just meant young conservatives with different — but peaceful — tactics than the norm. Now it seems to mean white nationalism.

      • CSears

        Richard Spenser first used the term in 2008.

        It always meant white nationalism.

        • Killer Marmot

          However Richard Spenser used the term, by 2015 it included far more diverse groups than just White Nationalist. It was a complex group that was not easy to nail down. The most common denominator seemed to be disdain for social norms, a kind of anti political correctness.

          • CSears

            So it started with Spenser’s white nationalism and then added antisemitism, neo-Nazism, nativism, Islamophobia, homophobia, mysogeny, and the pièce de résistance, Trumpism. You know, young conservatives.

          • lspanker

            You ever consider that you suffer from conservophobia?

          • CSears

            Phobia? No. It’s a disdain.

    • FreedomFan

      He left. But nice try, Einstein.

    • SecludedCompoundTTYS

      By the anti defamation league statistics, in 2016 Ben Shapiro was the #1 target of anti-semetic comments on Twitter from the Alt-Right…He left Breibart because of their behavior, if you actually followed up on your research you may learn something instead of being a sheep who tries to find what hes looking for.

      • CSears

        I’m struggling with your logic. Are you saying that Breitbart wasn’t the alt-right house organ before March 2016? Because Steve Bannon was a founding board member and became editor after Andrew Breitbart died in March 2012.

        Yeah, he left Breitbart and then said something to the effect of I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

        • lspanker

          I’m struggling with your logic.

          Not surprised you struggle with his logic, given a review of your posts here indicates that you struggle with your own…

  • elrod

    Violence is repulsive.
    Shouting down speakers is repulsive.
    Go Ben go!