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UC Berkeley student group cancels 'Free Speech Week' event

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Confusion swirled over the fate of University of Berkeley’s controversial “Free Speech Week” after the student group that organized it canceled the event but a featured speaker insisted it was still being held.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said Saturday that the Berkeley Patriot student organization told university administrators that the four-day event scheduled to start Sunday had been canceled.

But the event's co-organizer, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, said in a Facebook post that while the student group may have pulled out, he and other speakers had not.

"We shall speak in Berkeley, we shall speak on the plazas and the steps. We shall defend free speech, whatever the cost may be. We shall never surrender!" Yiannopoulos wrote, adding that he was paraphrasing Winston Churchill.

The conservative student group Berkeley Patriot was dropping out for safety reasons, the Berkeleyside, a local website, reported Saturday.

“The university has made it impossible to hold the event,” the group’s attorney, Marguerite Melo, told the website. “A lot of these speakers have withdrawn. To have an empty gesture of ‘Free Speech Week,’ when there are no speakers is impossible. And the university couldn’t guarantee our speakers would be safe.”


No free speech for them...

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