Students at the University of California’s Berkeley campus who invited conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak are threatening to sue the school if they do not find a proper time and venue for Coulter to speak.
Harmeet Dhillon, a representative for the Berkeley College Republicans, said in a letter sent Friday to Berkeley’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton and chief attorney Christopher Patti that if Coulter is not allowed to give a speech on campus, she will file a lawsuit in federal court because the university is violating the students’ constitutional right to free speech.
School officials told the Berkeley College Republicans on Tuesday, and the nonpartisan Bridge USA which coordinated the event, that it was being cancelled due to security concerns.
Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said that police have “very specific intelligence regarding threats that could pose a grave danger to the speaker,” her audience and protesters if the event goes ahead next Thursday.
Officials offered an afternoon event on May 2, when they can offer an “appropriate, protectable venue” but Coulter rejected it, saying she is not available that day. She also tweeted, “THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2.” The period is known as Dead Week, when students are studying for final exams.
According to Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for UC Berkeley, the campus does not have a venue available for April 27 that UCPD could reasonably assess as “protectable.” Furthermore, he says that the school is concerned about Coulter’s “disregard for the assessment and recommendations of law enforcement professionals.”
This is just the latest in a long line of politically-based strife at UC Berkley since Donald Trump‘s inauguration.
You can find Dhillon’s full letter to the university here.