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.