Berkeley College Republicans defend right to invite ‘provocateurs’ to campus

Campus junior Derek Topper attended the Friday meeting to share his input on the Major Events policy and comment on provocative speech.
Deborah Chen/Staff
Campus junior Derek Topper attended the Friday meeting to share his input on the Major Events policy and comment on provocative speech.

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When asked whether Berkeley College Republicans, or BCR, intentionally invites provocative speakers to campus, Rudraveer Reddy, BCR member and former Daily Californian columnist, said there is “no legal difference.”

Members of Berkeley College Republicans, or BCR, defended their perspective on free speech Friday at the third meeting of the Commission on Free Speech. During the meeting, two members of the organization responded to the outcomes of their lineup of controversial speakers last year, which erupted in violent protest on Sproul Plaza and backlash from the community.

The Commission on Free Speech, formed after the cancellation of “Free Speech Week” in September 2017, has been meeting regularly to discuss free speech on campus.

BCR President Bradley Devlin expressed the social adversity facing Republican and conservative students on campus. He suggested further empowering law enforcement in order to protect the First Amendment rights of conservative speakers and students.

“Just yesterday, I was called a Nazi on three different occasions,” Devlin said. “My conservative peers are constantly accused as racist, xenophobic, plain evil, even kicked and punched … simply due to their views.”

The topic of legal free speech, while central to the discussion, was not all that the commission discussed. Campus junior Derek Topper attended the meeting to share his input on the Major Events policy, which has recently been updated in areas such as the conditions that constitute a major event, responsibility of security costs and event notification times.

Topper, who is a former distribution analyst for The Daily Californian, emphasized the need for a centralized reservation system because, according to him, the current reservation system is “unpredictable.” He added that students should be allowed to act as observers during major events, similar to the way faculty and staff can under the current policy.

Topper also addressed provocative speech on campus — during the commission meeting, he said it was his personal belief that although the campus has to allow speakers, BCR members act as provocateurs in scheduling controversial speakers.

“When Trump won, were (Berkeley College Republicans) ‘spiking the football?’ As in, ‘Hey, we won — now we’re going to shove it in (Berkeley’s) face!’ ” an audience member asked Devlin at the commission.

Devlin denied any intentional disruption of student life through the invitation of controversial speakers. Reddy, a former Daily Californian columnist, also emphasized that BCR did not intend to “stir things up.”

This was also touched upon by a letter from the Berkeley Patriot, read at the commission’s meeting by department of psychology doctoral candidate Mariel Goddu, which said that the purpose of inviting controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos was to “get students to self-reflect” on how “toxic” Berkeley was becoming.

“Even people who act as the most base provocateurs, making no substantive contribution to dialogue, serve to reveal the lines we’ve drawn as a society to demarcate what speech is acceptable and what isn’t,” Reddy said.

Contact Nicholas Olivares at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @nicholivares.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article failed to disclose that Derek Topper formerly worked at The Daily Californian.

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  • SMH

    .

    “Berkeley College Republicans defend right to invite ‘provocateurs’ to campus.”

    Does this too mean that our ‘post-racist’ (‘post-sexist, post-homophobic, post-xenophobic, post-etc., post-hate‘) society is over?…
    .

    • Nicholas Olivares

      NO. JUST THREATENED.

  • SMH

    .

    RE: Berkeley College Republicans defend right to invite ‘provocateurs’ to campus.

    “My conservative peers are constantly accused as racist, xenophobic, plain evil…”

    Geee, I can’t imagine why

    —————————————————————————————————————–

    My favorite protest sign about those people:

    YOU DON’T MAKE CAMPUS SAFE FOR US,
    WE WON’T MAKE CAMPUS SAFE FOR YOU.

    .

  • SMH

    .

    Rudraveer Reddy, BCR member and former Daily Californian columnist:

    “I have gone after renowned Berkeley figures, campus liberals, feminists, safe spaces, trigger warnings and non-existent[!!] racism.”

    “It was not my objective to be bipartisan or to build some sort of consensus. I wished to state my opinion regardless of whether that would bring more people to the conservative fold or alienate the entire student body.”

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Daily Cal column, last paragraph”

    Need anyone say more than Rudra Reddy, some privileged right-wing snot, has said about himself in his last Daily Californian column last school year.

    This is what Rudraveer (“Rudra”) Reddy, some ultra-right-wing BROWN COCONUT PUNK, stands for. “Free speech” is just a play toy for him to hide behind his racist, sexist, etc., socio-economic privilege. Except that, he was using the Daily Cal to nationally audition to much greater right-wing forces than the BCR as the next D’Nesh D’Souza (since D’Souza has somehow fallen from his prior public spotlight) — or maybe to even nationally audition as, ideologically, one day, ‘the South Asian Donald Trump’!… A COCONUT can dream, right?…

    (See, “Brown People Are Racist Too”, by Aslesha Kumar, Daily Californian, February 13, 2018 — and my comments below that. D’Souza was so racist that even one of the very few then hard-right-wing, Massa-loving, Black Conservatives, reminiscent of the house negro in the movie “Django”, otherwise called D’Souza’s last[?] book, “the bigot’s handbook“!)

    Other than that, I’m sure the Nazis originally hid behind the claim of “free speech” and “civil discourse” in their advocacy for their eugenics, ethnic cleansing, anti-miscegenation, genocide and ‘re-uniting the ethnic global German people’ ideology [btw, much like Israel’s racist parallel NAtionialist ZIonism ideology, methods, and racialization, about ‘re-uniting the global Jewish people’ in a colonial state].
    .

    • lspanker

      BROWN COCONUT PUNK

      This from the same character who calls everyone else a “racist”…

      • SMH

        Thanks for always being so moved and deeply compelled to reading all my commentaries, Ispanker, wherever article they’re under.

        It’s always nice to know when I have such an avid & dedicated follower.

        :-)
        .

  • Killer Marmot

    “Just yesterday, I was called a Nazi on three different occasions,” Devlin said. “My conservative peers are constantly accused as racist, xenophobic, plain evil, even kicked and punched … simply due to their views.”

    Should a person of color, a transsexual, or a Muslim declare that they feel emotionally unsafe, a wide array of university resources are unleashed to address the situation.

    But should a conservative get verbally abused or even physically threatened, it’s crickets.

    • SMH

      .
      GGOOOD…!

      Ha-ha-ha…
      .

      • Killer Marmot

        Does your mother know you’re on the internet?

        • SMH

          No…, but yours does…: she’s with me now!

          Ha-ha-ha…

          • lspanker

            I don’t believe KM’s mother is a mental health professional – you must be thinking of someone else.

  • lspanker

    Lefties redefine those that would exercise their Free Speech rights as “provocateurs”. Stalin would have been proud of them…