Berkeley Patriot files civil rights complaint against UC Berkeley

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The Berkeley Patriot filed a civil rights complaint Tuesday against the UC Berkeley administration for allegedly “systematically and intentionally violating” its members’ civil liberties by suppressing their First Amendment rights.

Marguerite Melo, one of the attorneys from the law firm Melo & Sarsfield representing the conservative campus online publication, said her clients are requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice conduct an investigation into the campus’s conduct.

She alleged in the complaint that members of the Berkeley Patriot feel that their freedom of speech, freedom of association and right to equal protection have been denied by UC Berkeley.

“The situation at UC Berkeley has become downright physically dangerous this past year for conservative students who merely wish to exercise their God given rights to freedom of speech and association that are enshrined in the Constitution,” Melo said in the complaint sent to the Department of Justice.

Melo also alleged that the campus was communicating with the Berkeley Patriot through the press rather than directly communicating with the publication about the event.

Although several media outlets reported that the Berkeley Patriot had canceled Free Speech Week, Melo said this was false and that the four-day event will go on as planned. The campus has submitted additional requirements that the Berkeley Patriot is working to meet, Melo added.

“I can assure you that the Berkeley Patriot is not canceling Free Speech Week,” Melo said. “On the contrary, they are doing everything they can to make this happen.”

In addition, the Berkeley Patriot editor-in-chief Mike Wright recently confirmed in a text message to The Daily Californian that Free Speech Week has not been canceled.

The uncertainty, Melo said, is which speakers will be in attendance.

Melo alleged that 36 hours after the complaint was filed through the Department of Justice, her clients were notified that the campus had opened an investigation into them regarding a hate speech incident. She said she believed that the investigation was related to a chalking incident on campus that included targeted messaging towards undocumented and LGBTQ communities, but was not certain.

According to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, however, UC Berkeley has only opened investigations into the chalk graffiti and another hate speech incident Thursday involving posters on campus that allege members of the campus community are “terrorist supporters.” The campus investigations, Mogulof said, are not targeted at any particular group.

“We have no reason to believe that anyone in (the Berkeley Patriot) did it,” Mogulof said. “There’s no investigation going on at the Berkeley Patriot.”


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

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  • Disqusted

    The ¨patriots¨ should fulfill their patriotic duty of paying UCB and the City of Berkely for the cost of their actions.

  • Ed Oswalt

    Hopefully “Berkeley Patriot”‘s 15 minutes of fame are almost over, they will grow up, and political discussion will move in a more thoughtful direction.

    • s randall

      Unfortunately they will be scorned and derided by everyone. Sad.

  • SMH

    .

    MILO YIANNOPOULOS HAS MADE A **FOOL** OF THE UC BERKELEY CHANCELLOR & THE ENTIRE UNIVERSITY IN THE UNIVERSITY’S SPENDING OF **$800,000** TO **$1,000,000** FOR MILO’S 20 MINUTE PHOTO-OP & AUTOGRAPH SESSION.

    BUT IT *DOES* SHOW THAT THE CHANCELLOR CAN COME UP WITH SUCH MONEY WHEN THE CHANCELLOR *WANTS* TO DO SO — MONEY THAT COULD GO TO ETHNIC STUDIES & OTHER DIVERSITY *ENRICHMENT* EDUCATIONAL / ACADEMIC PROGRAMS, INSTEAD OF EDUCATIONAL / ACADEMIC CUTS OR SHORTCOMINGS.

    .

    • s randall

      My guess is that Chancellor Christ didn’t make the decision, Napolitano made the decision. That’s the reason that the UC system is supposedly underwriting half of the cost. My guess is that it’s more than half.

    • SMH

      .

      And, actually, the TV news said it was only 15 minutes!

      $800,000/15minutes = over **$53,000** per **minute**.

      $1,000,000/15 minute = almost **$67,000** per **minute**.

      .

    • ced1

      Well said. You might want to eschew the all-caps however.

      • SMH

        Obviously I *don’t* eschew… It got your attention, right? Thanks…

  • breagerey

    FYI – this was most *definitely* canceled.
    And by the same laywer.
    https://www.berkeleyside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/UC-Berk-Cancel-Letter.pdf

  • Ed

    This suit is going to be thrown out with prejudice in summary judgment because the reason this was canceled in the first place was that the Berkeley Patriot couldn’t get their paperwork in on time.

    • California Defender

      What if that paperwork was designed to prevent the exercising of civil rights?

  • The_Bishop_of_D

    There’s an old saw which is relevant to matters at Cal to the extent that freedom of expression is in issue: “your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins.” By way of background, I’ve been a civil libertarian for years, developing an awareness of First Amendment issues beginning when I enrolled in Speech 134A (lucky enough to take the course when it was taught by professor Albert Bendich) back in 1968.

    When you study the First Amendment and the cases interpreting it in detail, you develop a sensitivity regarding where to draw the line between constitutionally protected and unprotected activity. The history of the confrontational tactics used by the far right, especially in demonstrably left leaning environments, appears to provide the regulatory authorities sufficient cause to keep them on a short leash in environments such as the UC Berkeley campus. Insofar as the tactics are textbook examples of actions designed to result in incitement to violence, their activities are not protected activities according to the terms of the First Amendment, and they can complain until they’re all red, white and blue in the face.

  • Nancy Henning Weres

    Chancellor Christ is one of the taxpayer-funded Leftist thugs who has weaseled her way into our California public educational system since the abolition of the loyalty oath to the Constitution. I attended the 1969 SDS Convertion in Chicago where Leftist plans to take over our schools of education and infiltrate the public schools were first implemented. Terrorist Dr.(of Education) Bill Ayres was in the leadership of SDS then and remains a respected Founding Father of the American Left. STORM, ACORN, and ANTIFA also started with the SDS “community organizers” of 1969. These apostles of Saul Alinsky, guided by his “Rules for Radicals,” took over the apparatus of the Democratic Party Machine, destroying major cities like Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore. They used Mob and KGB tactics, especially entrapment and blackmail, to silence “good” Democrats and turn Republicans into RINOs. Infiltration by the Left also destroyed great nonprofit institutions, such as the Berkeley Food Coop and the Sierra Club. My passion for this issue comes from living in the East Bay and seeing so many great institutions and organizations destroyed by the Leftist minions of Destruction. As a taxpayer and UC Berkeley alumna, I will not give up on my school and I will not be silenced by Leftist thugs in government employment. #FreeSpeechWeek. #FireChancellorChrist #DefundBerkeley

    • freespeechlover

      I’d definitely believe anyone who uses the term “leftist thugs.”

    • Pietro Gambadilegno

      It is not 1969 any longer. That was about a half century ago.

      • Nancy Henning Weres

        These are the “grandchildren” of SDS RYM-I, RYM-II, and the PLP. Some of the connections are described on discoverthenetworks.org, the site of repentant red diaper baby David Horowitz. I have followed these people from Chicago to Berkeley to Oakland. They are a disease to our Republic. Most of the leaders should be charged with treason, and some with murder of police officers. Chief financier today is billionaire George Soros, whose son Alex attends UC Berkeley. Soros’ empire makes money shorting currency, usually by instigating political chaos. He is banned from many countries. As a taxpayer and alumna, I say this must end now.

        • Pietro Gambadilegno

          I should have guessed that you would blame it all on George Soros – sure sign of a conspiracy nut.

  • harlan leys

    UC Berkeley are clearly violating civil liberties and suppressing First Amendment rights. Freedom of speech is being denied by UC Berkeley. ‘Hate speech [sic]’ is Constitutionally protected, so any ‘investigation into’ anyone ‘regarding a hate speech incident’, indicates violation and suppression.

    Freedom of speech means that ‘chalking’, ‘targeted messaging’, ‘graffiti’ and ‘posters’ are permitted.

    Free Speech Week seems to have been more a Milo publicity stunt than a real thing; though the guy’s got previous, when it comes to mismanagement, incompetence and deception, so maybe it was meant to happen at some point. Expect a Milo press conference on Saturday when bullshit excuses, climbdowns, denials and accusations seem likely.

  • zzz

    Because of the nature of identity politics and advocacy journalism by the left and right I honestly have no idea who to believe here.

    Since there is no longer even an attempt at unbiased journalism the whole issue here is clouded by people with an agenda.

    Various so called news outlets have different takes on the issues here and I don’t believe any of them.

    • harlan leys

      Skepticism should be everyone’s watchword.

    • Carlo Kane

      Here’s what’s going to happen next: first, it’s a given that this is now going to wind up in Federal Court. Then, based on the available evidence, you can fully expect that the court will require Berkeley to sign a consent decree. Under this consent decree, Berkeley will be subject to a court-monitored process of re-introducing the full spectrum of civil rights to the University.

    • California Defender

      On one side you have a massive university machine backed up by a legion of lawyers, PR executives, communication agents, a security apparatus, and a $4 billion warchest.

      On the other, you have a handful underrepresented minority students who have classes, midterms to study for, and a $700 budget.

      ⭐One must have tremendous courage, the other not.

      ⭐One must believe strongly in what they stand for, the other not.

      ⭐One must say they are fighting for more than just themselves, the other not.

      This is why I tend to believe what the Berkeley Patriot claims is true.

  • s randall

    The situation at UC Berkeley has become downright physically dangerous this past year for
    conservative students who merely wish to exercise their God given rights to freedom of
    speech and association that are enshrined in the Constitution.

    “God given rights”? That’s not something you usually see in a letter to the Justice Department.

    • zzz

      Founding texts conflate natural human rights as being god given, as a non believer myself I don’t overly find myself a fan of religionist non sense, but I understands the god given rights thing as being universal.

      You like every other American have rights, perhaps not god given since there is no god, as a shortcut your rights as an American. Why the modern left wants to take their own rights away is a mystery.

      • s randall

        There is a difference between “God given” and “god given.” I can be persuaded to go along with you on the “god” stuff, but not on “God” stuff.

        • harlan leys

          What is that difference?

          • s randall

            “God” is a proper noun. An attorney wouldn’t or at least shouldn’t make the mistake of unintentionally using a proper noun.

          • harlan leys

            So what’s the difference, meaning wise? ‘God’ is a proper noun. ‘god’ is generic, but in monotheistic cultures, ‘god given’ means ‘God-given’. See dictionary definition:

            https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/god-given

          • s randall

            Not every “monotheistic culture” has the same concept of god.

          • SecludedCompoundTTYS

            The vast majority do….

          • s randall

            How would you know?

          • harlan leys

            They all have a concept of God.

    • BerCaley

      It’s just Milo running his British mouth off about things we cover in grade school about a place he’s never been to.

  • EECS student

    Don’t those guys have midterms or interviews to prepare for???

    • s randall

      Midterms indeterminate, but interviews yes. They’re all over the media.

  • California Defender

    I’m hopeful that the Justice Department will investigate Berkeley.

    Perhaps even a class action civil rights suit will be filed on behalf of the Berkeley Patriot, the conservative students of Berkeley, and the taxpayers of California.

    WE MUST STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS!

    JUSTICE IS COMING!

    • alwaysthink

      You missed all the deadlines. Berkeley Patriot is nothing but a bunch on incompetent fools who can’t even book a room like an adult.

      • California Defender

        If you must tell yourself that up is down and left is right to sleep at night, be my guest. Just shut your window so the barking cat doesn’t wake you.

    • harlan leys

      The Justice Department supporting free speech? That’ll be something to see!

      • California Defender

        I agree. We’ve waited for many decades and it will be something to see.

  • laura

    Dear Dan, anyone supporting Antifa is a terrorist supporter. The list of organizations and labor unions supporting Antifa marches Sat and Mon is growing.

    • alwaysthink

      Those antifa hooligans are out of area Alt Right agent provocateurs sent by Milo and company.

      The students and real Berkeley community want nothing to do with them or these invaders.

      • laura

        Ridiculous, the arrest data is available, with residence. And I know the leaders of BAMN, ANTIFA and Itsgoingdown, some of whom work at UCB and BUSD

      • zzz

        Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.