The University of California at Berkeley has a famous tradition of freedom of speech. During the Vietnam war years the campus stood for the right to express unpopular opinions against the war, that eventually became mainstream. Last Wednesday, a pro-Trump speaker named Milo Yiannopoulos was to give a speech at the Berkeley student union. Not only was he prevented from speaking, but the demonstrations became violent and hundreds of protesters clashed with police.
The rioters, both students and apparently professional “anarchists” from off-campus, set about trashing the campus buildings and setting fires. As the videos show the University took a “hands-off” approach, asked the police to back off and allowed the rioters to wreak havoc. Videos show the rioters smashing plate-glass windows with pick axes and metal barriers. Estimates range from an active core of 150 to 400 violent hooligans, dressed for the job, with black helmets and masks and body armor. This kind of violent prevention of freedom of speech must be stopped. So much for the tradition of Berkeley for freedom of speech, but only for the left.
Pres. Trump issued a threat to strip the school of its Federal funding for not making sure that there was sufficient security for the speech to go ahead. It is not clear how he can do this, since so much of this funding comes in competitive grants and projects. But, there is no doubt that this threat should be a wake-up call for all those unviersity and college administrations that have stood by and done nothing while speakers unpopulat with the radical left have been prevented from speaking and have been threatened. This certainly includes pro-Israel speakers, whose lives have been put in danger while university administrations have done nothing for fear of becoming the object of the anger of the professional radical left.