Berkeley bans shields, smoke canisters for Ben Shapiro’s UC Berkeley speech

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Aslesha Kumar/File

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Berkeley released two lists of items Wednesday that will be temporarily banned from public parks and a large portion of the city in anticipation of right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro’s speech at UC Berkeley on Thursday.

Billy clubs, torches and flags or signs mounted on poles not attached to a building are banned throughout the area of the city bordered west to east by Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Piedmont Avenue and bordered south to north by Dwight Way and Cedar Street. Additionally, in Ohlone Park, Willard Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, metal pipes, smoke canisters and baseball bats are also banned.

In each of the three parks, masks or bandanas that hide the face will be prohibited aside from coverings worn for religious beliefs. Both lists ban shields, poles, torches, fireworks and pepper spray, as well as other “implements of riot.”

“These rules are intended to assist those wishing to peaceably express their First Amendment Rights,” wrote city manager Dee Williams-Ridley.

The city’s statement referenced the Aug. 27 rally and counterprotests in Civic Center Park, as well as the fiery protests that erupted on campus and spilled into the city streets during Milo Yiannopoulos’s event in February, citing the violence at these events as rationale for the temporary item ban.

On Tuesday, City Council approved the Berkeley Police Department’s request to be allowed to use pepper spray on violent protesters for the first time in 20 years. The request, which went into effect immediately, was met with controversy and outrage from the community, many of whom stated that they did not trust the police to avoid spraying nonviolent protesters.

“For peaceful protesters, there are a number of things people can do to stay safe,” Ridley wrote. “Separate yourself from people committing violence. Doing so not only keeps you safe, it prevents criminal acts from being done under the cover of a peaceful crowd. That allows police to focus on criminal acts.”

Ashley Wong is an assistant news editor. Contact her at ashleywong@dailycal.org and follow her on Twitter at @wongalum.

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  • Joe Ptak

    ANTIFA needs to be labeled as a terrorist socialist/communist anti-American group. Take away their masks…and they become ordinary LOSERS.

  • FreedomFan

    Hey look: Berkeley built a wall before Trump did.

  • Dave Doleshal

    I have no problem with allowing Shapiro or these other alt-right to speak. Just let him say their piece.
    What these far right folks are hoping for is yet another opportunity to depict themselves
    as the innocent, peaceful, long-suffering victims of irrational “left-wing” violence
    – so DON’T give them this. The right of free speech extends to everyone – including them – so let them speak.
    I hardly think the neo-Nazis, fascists, KKK-types, and racists are going to persuade anyone with their irrational arguments, so let them make their case. The more they talk – the more they will reveal who and what they actually are – and the more people will be turned off by what they say. Much better they no longer remain disguised as wolves in sheep’s clothing, but be wolves in wolves’ clothing. By all mean take the opportunity to refute what they say, and point out the fallacies, falsehoods, lies, and hatefulness of what they say. Don’t disrupt their talks nor disrupt their events. Don’t engage in ANY violence of ANY kind. No violence against people – no violence against property – and DON’T support or encourage anyone else who does resort to violence.

    • zzz

      “I hardly think the neo-Nazis, fascists, KKK-types, and racists are going to”

      Shapiro is a jewish name if you didn’t know.

    • Sandcat

      “Shapiro or these other alt-right….”

      Shapiro hates the alt-right. And is Jewish, throwing shade on your implication that he’s a neo-nazi.

      • FreedomFan

        Don’t try to confuse Democrats with simple facts.

      • Dave Doleshal

        I confess that I have not made any in-depth investigations into the nature of Mr. Shapiro’s arguments, philosophy, or ideas. Based on all the publicity he has received which celebrates as him being some kind of great champion of extremely conservative principles, the hero of the alt.right, and great Trump supporter, who had been previously prevented from speaking at Berkeley because of this, I have naively assumed that this was accurate. If he in fact is an opponent of the alt.right, a harsh critic of anti-semitism and racism, a great critic of Trump and his policies, a notorious liberal, a defender of feminists and progressive causes, or something else – then it is news to me. If so, then I stand corrected and must apologize for my earlier presumptuous errors. Whatever the case may be with this, I still believe he should be allowed to give his presentation, and that those who disagree with whatever it is he has to say should NOT interfere with his right to freedom of speech, disrupt his presentation, nor resort to violence of any kind.

        • Sandcat

          “Based on all the publicity he has received which celebrates as him being
          some kind of great champion of extremely conservative principles, the
          hero of the alt.right, and great Trump supporter”

          Wow. You really need to watch some of his videos. He is a political conservative, which isn’t at all alt-right. He can’t stand Trump and didn’t vote for him. His most common refrain for Trump is either the ‘orange clown’ and ‘Do not attribute to evil that which you can attribute to stupidity’.

          He’s no progressive. That doesn’t make him alt-right. He was the #1 target of white supremacist hate last year and is quite proud of that fact.

          ” Whatever the case may be with this, I still believe he should be
          allowed to give his presentation, and that those who disagree with
          whatever it is he has to say should NOT interfere with his right to
          freedom of speech, disrupt his presentation, nor resort to violence of
          any kind.”

          Spot on.

          • marina brown

            Is there a transcript of his speech anywhere ? I asked directly on Twitter but was ignored. I’d like to see for myself what this is about.

          • Sandcat

            I posted the actual video of his speech at Berkeley in a second reply to the guy above. Check it out.

          • marina brown

            I had to find a transcript (no sound here) but thanks.

          • Sandcat
          • Sandcat

            Here you go

            https://youtu.be/Ae4VZTVEFC4

            He starts talking about supremacists around 55:40

          • Steven Sexton

            If you are not a Liberal, you are considered Alt-Right.

          • marina brown

            umm… no. I’m antifa and i know the difference between Alt-right, fascist, nazi and just plain old conservatives.

            Like Ben said there is quite a difference between conservative and alt-right. It’s important to know the difference.

            My activism is mostly film journalism, internet stuff and even discourse.

          • marina brown

            and writing lots of letters to politicians to help neihbors.

        • Sandcat

          Here is Shapiro at Berkeley talking about the alt-right:

          (relevant @ 55:44)

    • FreedomFan

      “By all mean take the opportunity to refute what they say, and point out the fallacies, falsehoods, lies, and hatefulness of what they say.”

      Yes please show up and debate Ben Shapiro. No doubt you will destroy and embarrass him with your superior morality and quick wit. Good luck, my erudite comrade.

  • Adam Zebra

    Black Lives Matter and Antifa should be banned from Berkeley as very dangerous HATE groups.

    • FreedomFan

      No. The more that Democrats embrace those hate groups, the more likely Trump is to be re-elected.

  • BerkPed

    U.C. Berkeley Police policy on the use of pepper spray on non-violent protesters needs to be updated.

    http://vca.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/PRBCrowdPolicy.pdf

  • Rollie

    The article’s photo nicely demonstrates the cognitive depth of the blackshirts. No reasoned argument, no appeal to the public’s intellect, just the middle finger. To be fair, it was probably accompanied by some dim slogan, shrieked in unison with the rest of the black bloc.

    • BerkPed
      • TheLorax

        Actually the picture you referenced BerkPed was taken after a speech he gave which included MANY reasoned arguments, clearly appealing to the public intellect.

        Context my friend…

        I don’t ask you to like or agree with the man, but don’t just make things up for the sake of arguing.

        • BerkPed

          Name one reasoned argument he made in that speech which appeals to your intellect.
          Perhaps you could point us to a video / time, or a transcript for reference.

          • California Defender

            There are plenty of videos of the speech online. Instead of requiring us to list Shapiro’s points we are in agreement with (which are many), why don’t you tell us which you disagree with and we’ll go from there.

            Also, as a result of the brutes’ actions at that event, the Campus Free Speech Act has been approved by the Wisconsin House and will likely be approved by the Senate and signed into law shortly. Those who intentionally interrupt university classes and speakers will soon be suspended or expelled (for repeat offenses) by state law.

            Many other states are considering similar legislation. If only the California Legislature would support the freedom of speech by doing the same, we might have a chance at becoming the golden state once again.

          • zzz

            The apex of antifa thought at 2:20.

          • BerkPed

            I see TheLorax that you have not nominated one argument which you find appealing.

            Here are some I disagree with from https://www.youtube.com/wat

            14:00
            “The higher poverty rate in minority communities is not a result of
            white privilege or any other magical racist ether out there, it is a
            result of educational and life-style decsions about child bearing and
            child rearing.”

            To refute this one, for which he gives no evidence
            whatsoever, I offer you a vision of what a true debate between
            conservatives and liberals on campus looks like – the James Baldwin
            debate with William Buckely https://www.youtube.com/wat

            14:45 “You don’t want to go to jail for murder, or for any crime don’t commit the crime, it is that simple.”
            Again,
            Shapiro offers zero evidence for this claim. It is as if he has never
            heard the words DNA exoneration, prosecutorial misconduct, or Central
            Park 5.

            I also take exception to his earthy folksy language.
            Having stood in front of quite a few college audiences, I never swore at
            them

            15:37 “b@#ch and moan”
            15:50 “b@#ch and moan”

      • California Defender

        While we hope the intellectuals among us always rise above the crude gestures of the loutish lowbrow brutes, sometimes they must dip to their level for a brief moment.

        In this case, a group of brutes had been shouting expletives over Shapiro and the guests who were politely asking questions. They then formed a chain on stage to continue their suppression of the freedom of speech. When the police finally escorted the brutes away, Shapiro decided to communicate with them in a manner they would understand.

      • zzz

        I find Shapiro unlistenable, he does go out there and makes his case while antifa babies smash cameras and steal cell phones.

      • Steven Sexton

        Does BerkPed stand for Berkley Pedophile?

        • BerkPed

          I would like to personally thank you for showing the level of discourse that one can get in a Ben Shapiro talk. Sadly I will not be attending, so your insults will have to suffice.

          • Steven Sexton

            Were you arrested?

  • Well that’s no fun…