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Berkeley’s ‘New Free Speech Movement’ Embraces Milo’s Visit

UC Berkeley’s liberal campus is bracing itself for a visit and sold-out lecture by Breitbart News’ Milo Yiannapoulos in the midst of what the school’s College Republicans have dubbed the “New Free Speech Movement.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Milo’s February 1 visit to the campus is being hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans and will occur during a time when the group has “found themselves in the ironic position of championing what they call the ‘New Free Speech Movement’ on the same campus where students of the political left gave it life a half century ago.”

October 1, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which was born out of a protest in front of the school’s Sproul Hall. That year, the College Fix reported, UC Berkeley’s College Republicans “illustrated how the university has actually turned its back on the First Amendment,” discarding its ideals and replacing it with a stifling culture of political correctness and intolerance.

UC Berkeley is reportedly considering hiring 40 extra police officers on top of the usual seven for events. The Chronicle notes that UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof has been bombarded with emails from students demanding that the university cancel the invitation. The students hosting the event are reportedly required to help the school pay for basic security; in the past, some college groups elsewhere who were not able to afford the high security fees were forced to cancel Milo’s appearances.

However, the Chronicle notes that Mogulof said UC Berkeley may not set fees with the intention of blocking the event, and would go ahead and pay for any additional officers needed for Milo’s speech.

A “What to Do About Milo” instruction sheet has reportedly been circulated around the campus, telling Yiannapoulos’s critics how to express their outrage against him, and even included the location of a planned protest at UC Davis on January 13, where activists reportedly plan to shut down his talk.

The “What to Do About Milo” paper reportedly also recommends contacting approximately a dozen campus officials to express their opposition to the event.

So far, 570 people have RSVP’d on Facebook for a protest against Milo’s February 1 speech, named “No Milo Yiannapoulos at UC Berkeley.”

Yiannopoulos will be speaking at UC Davis on January 13, UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 17, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on Jan. 31, UC Berkeley on February 1, and will complete his “Dangerous Faggot” tour at UCLA on Feb. 3.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz

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