Update 11:45 p.m.: In response to the protests, President Donald Trump has threatened UC Berkeley in the best way he knows how to – with tweets.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
The hypocrisy of the above statement isn’t lost on anyone willing to spend more than a couple seconds with the concept of free speech. State politicians, such as Rep. Barbara Lee (D) spoke out against the president’s attempts to intimidate an institution.
“President Donald Trump cannot bully our university into silence. Simply put, President Trump’s empty threat to cut funding from UC Berkeley is an abuse of power,” she said in the statement.
“As a senior member of the education funding subcommittee, I will continue to stand up to President Trump’s overreach and defend the rights of our students and faculty.”
Earlier: More than 1,500 protestors gathered at the University of California’s Berkeley campus to protest a scheduled appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos, a known conservative whose build a reputation based on hate speech and bullying.
However, Yiannopoulos never got to speak after whats being described as “150 masked agitators” arrived on the scene and interrupted the peaceful protest with displays of force. The “alt-right” speaker and his team were then escorted off of campus two hours before he was due to appear, according to CNN.
At the peak of the confrontation, protestors reportedly shot off fireworks and threw rocks at officers, who would go on to reportedly return fire with rubber bullets and tear gas.
In total, five people were injured and no on was arrested.
Berkeley officials have reached out to condemn the violent actions that led to destruction of school property, while Yiannopoulos took advantage and used it to promote an agenda of intolerance among liberals who push back against hate speech.