by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Berkeley, Calif., Mayor Jesse Arreguin wants the University of California-Berkeley to cancel a “Free Speech Week” event campus conservatives have planned, fearing more “mayhem” from “antifa” fighters.
A rally on Sunday turned violent when left-wing protesters attacked supporters of President Donald Trump and other conservatives.
Now, Arreguin doesn’t want the “Free Speech Week” event put on by the campus group Berkeley Patriot to meet, arguing their events invited the trouble that has affected the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports:
“I don’t want Berkeley being used as a punching bag,” said Arreguin, whose city has been the site of several showdowns this year between, on the one hand, the left and its fringe anarchist wing, and on the other, supporters of President Trump who at times have included white nationalists. …
… “I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street,” Arreguin said.
His use of the phrase “black bloc” was a reference antifa, who dress in black and wear masks.
“I obviously believe in freedom of speech, but there is a line between freedom of speech and then posing a risk to public safety,” he said.