Milo Yiannopoulos to pay about $250K for ‘Free Speech Week’ at UC Berkeley

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Controversial conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos is not only speaking at “Free Speech Week” — he’s also funding it.

Yiannopoulos said in an email Monday that Free Speech Week will cost approximately $250,000 for his company, MILO, Inc. Fees include staffing the event and accommodations for speakers.

Free Speech Week will take place from Sept. 24-27, hosted by Yiannopoulos and the Berkeley Patriot, a conservative campus newspaper. As a student organization with roughly 20 members, the Berkeley Patriot would have been unable to fund the event on its own, according to Berkeley Patriot news editor Pranav Jandhyala.

“We’re completely open about the fact that (Yiannopoulos is) funding a large part of this event. He’s committed to the cause of free speech,” Jandhyala said. “He’s helped us invite speakers. …  He’s been a great joint partner in this.”

According to the campuswide event policy, which was implemented in mid-August, student organizations are “liable for all costs related to the event,” which include basic security costs. The campus will cover additional security fees based on concerns that the event “might provoke disturbances” due to the event subject matter or speakers’ opinions.

Yiannopoulos alleged that total security costs are estimated at $1,200,000. Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, however, said the campus cannot provide an estimate yet.

“We have only received confirmation from two of all of the speakers listed on the schedule,” Mogulof said. “The campus remains ready, willing and able to host Mr. Yiannopoulos at the outdoor venue that has already been secured, but we haven’t heard whether he intends to come. So it’s impossible to provide a security estimate when we, as of now, have no idea who’s coming and when they intend to come here.”

Security expenses for Ben Shapiro’s speech are estimated at $600,000, but the campus is still waiting for all the invoices to determine the exact cost of Thursday’s event. If Yiannopoulos’ estimate proves true, the campus would be spending almost twice as much as it did Thursday.

The Berkeley Patriot has not yet been granted access to auditoriums in Zellerbach or Wheeler halls, both of which were supposed to be venues for Free Speech Week. Mogulof said the Berkeley Patriot missed three separate deadlines to sign contracts and pay fees for securing these venues.

Yiannopoulos said in an email that he paid about $65,000 to the campus Monday morning. He added that he also covered several “other large expenses” for the event, such as travel and staging for speakers.

“Berkeley ‘Free Speech Week’ … will occur as scheduled … despite attempts by the university to use bureaucratic maneuvers and strategic media leaks to disrupt the event and dissuade headline speakers from attending,” Yiannopoulos alleged in a press release Monday.

Contact Anjali Shrivastava at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anjalii_shrivas.

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  • popehentai

    Apparently Berkley has harassed his sponsor into cancelling.

  • Mr Creosote

    Economic terrorism tontry to silence the right. 250k to have free speech is BS

    • y_p_w

      Don’t know where you’re getting the idea that paying for speakers, venues, security, travel expenses is somehow a plot to silence free speech.

      • Mr Creosote

        depends on usage – – -if you create a fee structure as a method to PREVENT an event, by making it too expensive. That is a problem.

        Kind of like saying you have the right to own guns… but the permit is 25K per year…. all while claiming – – “You aren’t banned… your rights haven’t been abridged”

        • y_p_w

          There’s no punitive fee structure here. The only big costs to the University would be for indoor venue rentals which only includes one (Anna Head Hall). When he’s talking about spending $250K, that’s mostly going for his own expenses including paying the speaking fees and travel expenses for the speakers and possibly his own security. He was in fact denied the use of Zellerbach and Wheeler on the basis that they were given three chances to pay up and were still late after the 3rd chance.

    • Snippy

      If it was all “free” speech, why do Coulter and others require being paid tens of thousands of dollars for an hour or two appearance?

      • Mr Creosote

        sorry you are beyond dumb. Free speech is a constitutional concept… it doesn’t mean you may not be giving a paid speech

  • We need to shut down hate speech. Berkeley should not tolerate white supremacists.

    • popehentai

      Milos not a white supremacist.

  • Lindy K

    One has to question the true motives when Milo is forking out a quarter of a mill of his own $$ for this event. How many people do this when it’s essentially a speakers event and they’re the main speaker? He has no affiliation with Cal which makes me think it’s all a PR ploy.

    • flash321

      It is exactly what they say it is.
      Milo is to be congratulated on his dedication to the cause of freedom of speech.

  • roccolore

    Free speech scares the left.

    • sorrykb1

      Simple event organizing kills the right.

      • roccolore

        Berkeley is doing everything they can to suppress pro-America views.

  • s randall

    Yiannopoulos said in a press release Monday, “despite attempts by the university to use bureaucratic maneuvers and strategic media leaks to disrupt the event and dissuade headline speakers from attending.”

    Maneuvers like insisting that his group fill out forms and pay fees?

    • SkippyVonFakename

      No, like giving them less than 90 minutes to review a contract sent at last minute, ignoring any communication attempts, and pay tens of thousands of dollars with a few minutes notice, after bank closing hours.

      • louie

        Thats crap. Nobody is ignoring your communication attempts. They drug all of this out to get some news coverage. None of this is organic.

        • SkippyVonFakename

          Its not untrue, they have a proven, documented, track record of doing this kind of thing.

          • louie

            A proven track record? They have decades of both liberal and conservatives speaking at Berkley. Milo is the only one with this issue. Please provide the documentation otherwise.

    • Chuck

      Maneuvers like sending a form and only allowing one half hour to reply and pay fees.

      • louie

        That is bullcrap. They had plenty of time to fill out forms and they didn’t. They had the opportunity to supply an accurate list of speakers and they didn’t. They achieved the goal of getting news coverage on a bogus story that they created by not doing what they were supposed to. Now all the hateful pedo supporters are embolden to do stupid sh[t in defense of some made up crap.

        • SkippyVonFakename

          LOL, you are delusional and also saying anyone who listens to Milo is a “pedo supporter” proves that you don’t have an argument. Just delusions and feelings that are not founded in any kind of evidence what so ever. Enjoy your echo chamber captain snowflake.

          • louie

            Please learn to read. Milo is a pedo supporter and you support him. CPAC and Breitbart dropped him, that should be evidence enough. Take your tired snowflake garbage out of here tool

        • Snippy

          Milo released the list of speakers himself last week. Some people on the list had never been invited and had no interest in being a part of it. After five months of planning he can’t even produce a list of actual speakers, so it makes me inclined to believe the school’s version. Even *if* they only had a short notice for sending money, which I’m dubious because the rest of us have been reading about it for awhile, they could have initiated online money transfer. Banks are online now.

    • Sunny SideUp

      You might want to do your research a bit there champ. They tried every time through e-mails and phone calls and trying to organize meetings but were ignored. The admin did every thing it could to stop this from happening. Typical Liberal, doesn’t know the concept of research. Has to be spoon fed leftest propaganda because he is to uneducated to think for him/her self.

      • Straight Cis White Guy

        thank you… i couldn’t have said it better myself…

      • louie

        #FAKENEWS

    • Scott Heaton

      Huge costs to defend against violent radicals for making a pretty benign talk, yes. It’s a pretty relevant point.