‘Out of control situation’: Uncertainty looms over cancellation of ‘Free Speech Week’

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Despite several media outlets reporting Friday that campus publication The Berkeley Patriot has canceled “Free Speech Week,” the Berkeley Patriot editor in chief Mike Wright said in a text message that the event is still on.

Both the San Francisco Chronicle and KQED reported that the Berkeley Patriot, the student group organizing Free Speech Week, has pulled its support for the event. The Berkeley Patriot has also filed a complaint against UC Berkeley with the U.S. Department of Justice, according to multiple media reports.

But according to Wright, Free Speech Week has not been canceled and all reports of its cancellation are false.

Both news editor Pranav Jandhyala and spokesperson Bryce Kasamoto did not confirm that the Berkeley Patriot has canceled the four-day event. Jandhyala said, however, that this was an “out of control situation” and that the Berkeley Patriot will be holding a press conference with Milo Yiannopoulos, one of the main speakers for Free Speech Week, in San Francisco on Sept. 23 to address questions about the upcoming event.

The campus has not heard directly from the Berkeley Patriot about the cancellation of Free Speech Week or about the complaint, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof. Mogulof added that the campus has only heard about the cancellation from media reports, and has not been contacted by the Department of Justice about any complaint against the campus.

Planning for Free Speech Week has ran into several complications in the past month, with the Berkeley Patriot losing venues in Wheeler and Zellerbach halls after failing to provide the necessary payments. Shortly after Yiannopoulos released a list of speakers scheduled to attend the event, several on the list publicly announced that they had no intention of going or had never actually been invited.

Mogulof emphasized that the campus will continue preparing for Free Speech Week as normal, in case the event still happens from Sept. 24-27.

“We are very uncertain about what’s happening here but we just can’t take chances when it comes to safety,” Mogulof said. “We have no choice but to proceed with all the steps that we’re taking.”

Yiannopoulos’s press team also could not confirm whether Free Speech Week had been canceled, reiterating that all the official information will be released at the press conference Sept. 23. Pamela Geller, founder of Stop Islamization of America and InfoWars radio show host Mike Cernovich, who are on the list to attend Free Speech Week, will also be at the press conference, according to Yiannopoulos’s press release.

On Friday, Yiannopoulos posted on his Instagram, announcing his intent to march through Sproul Plaza on Sept. 24, along with members of the Berkeley Patriot and other Free Speech Week speakers.

Check back for updates.

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

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  • EECS student

    Please cancel, I have so many midterms next week.

    • Graeme Stewart

      Get over it snowflake. The real world will be a lot harder than taking a test

      • BerCaley

        Something tells me you’ve never taken a Kannan Ramchandran EE 120 midterm.
        Something tells me your view of the real world is Stormfront and Breitbart.
        Something tells me that you’ve never set foot on campus or even in CA.

        • Graeme Stewart

          Your insular worldview that attaches personal fulfilment to test taking abilities is exactly what is wrong with the bay. Your values are why all levels of inequality are higher in the bay. I know lots of good test takers who are awful people. But you wouldn’t know about that in your pretentious bubble.

  • alwaysthink

    It will be best to just ignore them. There really aren’t many of them. Don’t even stand around and watch. Simply walk thru the plaza, maybe throw a bird, and go about your studies.

    Treat them like the Moonie girl who used to stand on the plaza and sing “You Are My Sunshine” for hours every day.

  • Graeme Stewart

    Funny how only lefties make it difficult to host/organize events. Maybe the right at Cal should take up the tactics of making it nearly impossible to organize events? Naw they aren’t weak little humanities majors.

    • CSears

      Dude, these Berkeley Patriot guys couldn’t run a lemonade stand let alone file paperwork on time.

      • Graeme Stewart

        Milo and patriot have provided evidence of administration attempts to be difficult and unresponsive. So burden is former home of free speech to prove otherwise. Also, making some but not all students pay massive security fees is silencing. The group hosting the California state Treasurer this month didn’t have to pay a massive security fee. Funny how too much paperwork and fees for legal immigration is oppressive but the same for college conservative groups isn’t

        • BerCaley

          Sorry cupcake, but your precious Milo will or won’t speak today for free sans any security fees maybe on Sproul Plaza or maybe not. This conservative pederast is you; he’s your voice.

          You’ve likely never set foot on campus and probably not even in California but if you want to book Zellerbach, you will pay and you will file. But if you want to yell on Sproul, have at it.

          You can whine about the victimization of conservative groups all you want. But if you’d ever been to Berkeley you’d know that the BCR sets up a card table on Sproul everyday. But you don’t know this because you’re just a troll from the likes of Stormfront.

          • Graeme Stewart

            The triggering with you is real. Did I touch a nerve with the silicon valley comments? Does it keep you up at night knowing your driving massive inequality and gentrification? Probably, hence the white guilt.

  • John

    Meanwhile the Regents are quietly making plans to raise your tuition again.

    • s randall

      The Berkeley Patriot has also filed a complaint against UC Berkeley with the U.S. Department of Justice, according to multiple media reports.

      What choice does the Administration have? It has to bend over for these a*holes.

      • jeyhovah

        sigh. Your hypocrisy is overwhelming.

        • s randall

          Maybe, but what I wrote isn’t an example of hypocrisy.