In the 1964-1965 academic year Berkeley was the leading educational institution in America striving to protect the right of free speech. The student protest was lead by Mario Savio.
“In protests unprecedented in scope, students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge students’ right to free speech and academic freedom.” What a wonderful moment it was for our Constitution.
This compares to the violent protests by Berkeley students and non-student interlopers against conservative messengers such as Ann Coulter. To quote her, “ I’m so sorry Berkeley canceled my speech. I’m so sorry YAF (Young Americans For Freedom) acquiesced in the cancellation.”
Coulter intended to speak to students in the face of Berkeley’s request to postpone it to a time when most students would be studying for exams. She ultimately decided not to speak uninvited because of the violence that was threatened by those who are not so concerned about free speech. This group believes free speech does not protect those with opinions that are different than theirs.
Unfortunately the liberal thugs encouraged conservative thugs determined to support Coulter at Berkeley. The result of such a confrontation could have been disastrous.
The home of free speech was unable to host a conservative perspective on campus. Free speech has taken a step backwards as has the reputation of Berkeley. The school backed down when confronted by a violent attack on a right that the institution was famous for protecting at all costs.
As a reminder the First Amendment of the Constitution declares, “Congress shall make no law . . . [that] prohibit[s] [or] abridge[s] the freedom of speech . . .” You will note that this amendment does not exclude protest by any groups even if their positions are anathema to Americans or America. The right is not selective and is available to all Americans.