New: Joint statement from U.C. Chancellor, Berkeley Mayor regarding Coulter's cancellation

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, Mayor Jesse Arreguín
Thursday April 27, 2017 - 10:51:00 AM

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks of the University of California, Berkeley, and Mayor Jesse Arreguín of the City of Berkeley today released the following joint statement:

The values of openness, equity, diversity and freedom of speech are deeply enshrined in our community. Both the City of Berkeley and the University of California have been at the forefront of free speech and continue to do so to this day. We have worked on finding solutions that ensure that those who wish to speak are able to do so in a safe space. What we will not do is allow our students, other members of the campus community, and the public to be needlessly endangered by permitting an event to be held in a venue that our police force does not believe to be protectable. Creating an environment that prevents violence is not censorship, rather it is protection of free speech. Ann Coulter did not take up the University’s offer to have the event held at a time where we could ensure safety. To be clear, the decision to cancel the speech was that of Coulter, not the University.

We have gone above and beyond to protect freedom of speech, contrary to many misleading reports. While we cherish our freedoms of speech and assembly, there is no freedom to silence others or to commit violence. If you are at a demonstration and you see violence, separate yourself. Keep a distance from violence. If you can do so safely, report it to police. The City and University stands together in our commitment to protect the fundamental principles of democracy — freedom of expression, thought and peaceful assembly, and we call on everyone to do the same.