Steve Bannon to speak at UC Berkeley ‘Free Speech Week’

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The Berkeley Patriot, a conservative student newspaper, confirmed Tuesday that former White House chief strategist and Breitbart editor Steve Bannon has been scheduled to appear at UC Berkeley during its “Free Speech Week.”

Bannon was confirmed to be attending Free Speech Week a couple of weeks ago, said Pranav Jandhyala, news editor at the Berkeley Patriot. In a YouTube video posted to Milo Yiannopoulos’s channel Tuesday morning, Yiannopoulos publicly announced that Bannon will be joining him for the event. Although multiple news outlets have reported that Bannon is scheduled to appear on the final day, Jandhyala was not able to confirm on which day Bannon would be speaking or what Bannon’s speech would be about.

“We’re extremely excited. It’s very, very rare to see Bannon make this kind of public appearance,” Jandhyala said. “Throughout his seven months (at the White House) … I think he made a total of one speech to the public. … It’s a very rare opportunity, and we understand how privileged we are, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

According to a website created by the Berkeley Patriot for the weeklong event, each of the four days will have a specific theme, beginning Sept. 24. The first day is called “Feminism Awareness Day,” followed by “Islamic Peace and Tolerance Day” on Sept. 25, “ZUCK 2020” on Sept. 26 and “Mario Savio is Dead” on Sept. 27. 

Jandhyala said the Berkeley Patriot decided to invite Bannon because he is “a very influential and key person,” particularly with regards to the political climate over the last year.

“Whether you like him or hate him, he’s been influential. … I think he’s the architect of Trump’s success,” Jandhyala said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting him and hearing from him, and I think the UC Berkeley community should be as well. It’s an amazing opportunity for everybody.”

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email that although Yiannopoulos and Bannon have both publicly said they will be speaking on campus during Free Speech Week, the campus cannot confirm exactly when or if they will be here.

“We have repeatedly asked representatives of the Berkeley Patriot to confirm that contracts have been completed between the student organization and each of these speakers; to date they have not,” Mogulof said in his email.

Mogulof added that information the Berkeley Patriot has shared with the campus regarding the scheduling of the proposed speakers conflicts with information shared with Yiannopoulos.

According to Mogulof, security arrangements for the week of Sept. 24 are also unconfirmed. Rental fees for venues have not yet been paid and contracts with venues have not been signed, Mogulof said in his email.

“Simply put, the University cannot provide the security and support the student organization has requested, and the campus wants to provide, if we do not receive the essential information,” Mogulof said in his email.

Check back for updates.

Contact Harini Shyamsundar, Ashley Wong and Chantelle Lee at [email protected].

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  • TW Kenworth

    Mario Savio may be dead, but I’m not, and I marched with Savio that first night to the Chancellor’s house, past the Freddie and Sally making out on the Chancellor’s lawn. Neither, BTW, are over 1,000 original members of the FSM, The organization still stands for Free Speech and that would include Mr. Bannon, as every ——- must have his day and say.

  • Left Unsaid

    Stalinist Berkeley cannot tolerate opposing viewpoints.

  • jim hoch

    What you resist persists

  • FreedomFan

    “Colleges have historically been that place where you make your best argument, have a full and robust debate, and let ideas flow. But now we often find that if you’re libertarian or conservative and are invited to speak on campus, you later get disinvited. If they’re allowed to speak at all, conservatives and libertarians get shouted down or in some cases actual riots break out. If public colleges and universities continue to allow this to occur, Congress may have to get involved.”
    -Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), fierce proponent of free speech

    • Dude, that’s not free speech.

      At no point is harassing, intimidating, threatening, or inciting considered free speech.

      • California Defender

        This is exactly why these influential advocates of free speech are coming to Berkeley.

        To defend the freedom of speech from those in Berkeley who wish to extinguish it.

      • Badger BadgerBadger

        Dude, that’s not valid analysis. At no point is lying, misleading, committing fraud, or trying to ruin America so that your party of whining babies can win considered valid analysis.

        • SecludedCompoundTTYS

          You clearly do not understand what “free speech” is. You should have gratitude for it but your small world view obviously doesn’t allow for that.

          • California Defender

            Crissa lobbed unsupported claims against influential public figures presumably because he/she/it doesn’t agree with them.

            “It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.”
            ~ George Orwell

            Crissa and Berkeley are part of the “not done” orthodoxy. Are you?

      • Nunya Beeswax

        There are legal tests for harassment, intimidation, threatening, and incitement. Speech doesn’t qualify as any of those things simply because you feel as though you’ve been harassed, intimidated, threatened, or incited.

      • JJSmith

        If that’s true then the left should be completely shut down because that’s all they do.

  • BerkPed

    Looking forward to Pranav Jandhyala stretching the limits of free speech by hosting a monster truck rally.

  • tjimmel

    So will Mr. Bannon be the keynote speaker for “Feminism Awareness Day”?

    • ActionJohnny

      With all the screeching, how can anyone NOT be aware of feminism?