Berkeley students plot to 'shut down' conservative speakers

Fed up with conservative speakers coming to their campus, students at the University of California, Berkeley are holding a meeting to discuss how to “shut down these events.”

A flyer distributed by a group called Students for Social Change—ostentatiously titled “We Can Defend Ourselves!”—complains that “UC Berkeley continues to be the destination of choice for various expressions of the far-right’s bankrupt agenda,” citing the upcoming “Free Speech Week” program that Milo Yiannopoulos is slated to headline later this month.

[RELATED: Mayor pressures UC-Berkeley to cancel ‘Free Speech Week’]

“Instead of relying on off-campus activists or draconian police measures to shut down these events,” the group asks students to consider what they can do “to empower ourselves collectively to determine who we want to speak on campus.”

The flyer advertises a meeting to discuss that question, encouraging students to meet at 7:45 p.m. in front of Dwinelle Hall on September 7, one week before Ben Shapiro is also scheduled to speak on campus.

According to Bradley Devlin, the secretary of the Berkeley College Republicans, one liberal student reacted to a flyer promoting Shapiro’s event by literally eating the piece of paper, presumably to ensure that it could not be seen by other students.

“Ben Shapiro is the Left’s worst nightmare,” Devlin said on Lone Conservative’s “On the Line” this week. “If anyone comes in the name of violence, don’t. Don’t come to perpetrate acts of violence against Antifa, against me, against my club members—you’re part of the problem if you decide to do that.”

[RELATED: Shapiro to brave ‘Antifa’ protesters for speech at UC-Berkeley]

In anticipation of a repeat of the violence that has already swept Berkeley this year, Yiannopoulos already told Campus Reform that he will spend “whatever it takes” to ensure security during his upcoming Free Speech Week, pledging “hundreds of thousands” of dollars if necessary.

Young Americans for Freedom, the organization sponsoring Shapiro’s appearance on the September 14, was required to pay a $15,000 security fee up front. Devlin, calling it a tax on free speech, says they will pay the fee to allow the event to take place, but challenge its legality later.

Students for Social Change did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication.

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