Berkeley preps for Shapiro with bomb unit, boarded-up ATMs

The University of California, Berkeley and the surrounding neighborhood are gearing up for Ben Shapiro's lecture, co-sponsored by organizations such as Young Americans for Freedom and the College Republicans, with extreme measures.

Police have erected barriers around the area where Shapiro will be speaking, and have recently placed “no trespassing” signs on those barriers in an effort to deter Antifa protesters who plan to begin rioting an hour before the event begins.

[RELATED: Antifa flyer at Berkeley calls Ben Shapiro a ‘fascist’ thug]

Meanwhile, the Bank of America has boarded up its ATMs on campus in anticipation of Antifa protests, placing pieces of plywood over several machines, according to Doug Sovern of KCBSNews.

Perhaps most strikingly, one image indicates that a university bomb squad is blocking off entrances to campus.

Similarly, many storefronts in the surrounding neighborhood bore notices that their proprietors would be closing early in order to avoid any potential harm from the event.

[RELATED: Berkeley students plot to ‘shut down’ conservative speakers]

“We will be closing at 5 p.m. today for the safety of our staff and customers. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will re-open tomorrow at 9 a.m. in accordance with our normal store hours,” one sign read.

Despite the drastic preparations, Shapiro seems confident in the event, thanking law enforcement for proving “that tonight” Berkeley “is still part of America.”

Naweed Thamas, vice president of the Berkeley College Republicans, told Campus Reform at 7:55 p.m. that the “police have barricaded the area and there are helicopters in the sky to watch over the area.”

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