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  • Katerine Chung Chen

Hate Speech IS, unfortunately, Free Speech

University of California, Berkeley; a place where freedom of speech is value. Having the First Amendment right, freedom of speech, taken away for attempting to express oneself is not fair at all. On a particular February evening, both Berkeley students and civilians joined together to protest on campus. All of this started with Milo Yiannopoulos, a British journalist, public speaker, and supporter of Donald Trump. Yiannopoulos was scheduled to make a speech at UC Berkeley on February 1st.

His speeches are often on his own Republican ideals and his support for Donald Trump. As we all know, not everyone is a supporter. Many students try to cancel the event by asking more than 100 UC Berkeley’s faculty to sign a petition urging the university. Some students went a little bit of the border and tried to threaten Milo’s life if he didn’t cancel the event. Other students felt that his First Amendment had been violated, since he couldn’t express himself.

About two hours before the event, it was cancelled. The Republican student group, the ones who invited Milo, reacted to this by writing on their Facebook page, “the Free Speech Movement is dead.” Furious students started walking out and protesting which lead to a riot. The riot resulted in $100,000 worth of damage to the campus. UC Berkeley blamed "150 masked agitators" for the incident. According to NYTimes, these “masked agitators” arrived onto the campus to interrupted the protest, setting fires, throwing rocks at the police and fireworks, attacking members of the crowd, and damaging property. This protest went so far that more than reporters from ten news channels showed up. President Donald Trump heard about the event and tweeted, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” He criticized the university on Twitter for failing to allow freedom of speech, and he even threatened to defund UC Berkeley. It was wrong to cancel the event because EVERYONE has the right to express their thoughts. No matter if you support that idea or not. But it is also wrong to treat others by taking away their college funds. All students went outside for a purpose and they should be heard.

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