UC Berkeley has published and tweeted out a copy of Robert Reich’s conspiracy theory that claims the left-wing “anti-fascist” rioters at Breitbart Senior Editor MILO’s Berkeley event last week were “in cahoots” with Breitbart News.
Under the headline “A Breitbart-Bannon drive to defund universities?,” UC Berkeley published Reich’s conspiracy theory on their official blog, despite having a complete lack of evidence to back up their claims.
— UC Berkeley (@UCBerkeley) February 7, 2017
After going through the events of the riot in Berkeley last week, Reich claimed it “raises the possibility that Yiannopoulos and Breitbart were in cahoots with the agitators in order to lay the groundwork for a Trump crackdown on universities and their federal funding,” in the article which was published on UC Berkeley’s blog, Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t bet against it,” he proclaimed.
Several prominent left-wing outlets have also published Reich’s unfounded conspiracy theory since he originally raised it during a discussion on CNN, including Salon.
The Washington Post, however, rebuked the conspiracy theory in an article of their own, describing Reich’s idea as “phantasmagorical.”
“So let’s see: Yiannopoulos, who is an outsider to Berkeley and generally unwelcome there, succeeds in secretly arranging for more than 100 thugs to assemble in this city and then invade the Berkeley campus and cause more than $100,000 in damage, all to create a pretextual motive for Trump to alter federal funding for the UC system,” questioned The Washington Post. “And Yiannopoulos manages to do this without a single one of the thugs spilling the beans and tipping off the fact that this violent criminal conspiracy is organized by Yiannopoulos, not his opponents.”
“To even describe the plot is to make clear how phantasmagorical the whole idea is. Occam’s razor applies here. Or, as medical students are taught, when you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras,” they continued. “There is no way Yiannopoulos organized these protests, subjecting himself to serious criminal liability and placing the fate of his career on the sealed lips of more than 100 conspirators. Instead, the simplest explanation is the correct one: The persons responsible are left-wing anarchists, as the New York Times (among others) has described in this recent article.”
One of the far-left extremist groups behind the riot, Refuse Fascism, was reported to have received $50,000 from a group backed by socialist billionaire George Soros, while an alleged UC Berkeley employee is currently being investigated following allegations that he assaulted a MILO fan during the Breitbart senior editor’s show at the college, which turned into a riot last week.
The day after, MILO’s tour bus was tracked down by “anti-fascists” and vandalized, forcing both him and his team to evacuate the premises after his location was leaked online.
Despite the large amount of violence, numerous reports indicate that police officers refused to intervene, and only one suspect was arrested.
UFC veteran and professional MMA fighter Jake Shields was even forced to rescue a man who was being assaulted by left-wing rioters after police allegedly refused to help.
“Like fifteen people were trying to attack him and others were cheering them on,” explained Shields, who managed to successfully rescue the man, in an interview with Breitbart News. “No one helped, no one had the balls to step in, so my reaction was to run in and start picking people off.”
“More chaos started happening, so I went up to the police and tried bringing them back, but they were just like ‘we’re not really going over there. You should just stay away.’” he continued. “I don’t know if they were taking orders from someone or if they were just being lazy. I don’t know what the situation was, but it was pathetic to watch. Our police, who are supposed to defend the citizens of Berkeley. It’s a sad scene that they would allow that.”
Following the riot, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin repeatedly smeared MILO as a “white nationalist,” and declared that he would not be welcome back in the city.
Several celebrities and news outlets also expressed support for the riot, including Hollywood director Judd Apatow, who deleted his tweet shortly after, and Fusion, who smeared MILO as a “Nazi,” before praising rioters.
“Dilbert” creator and free speech activist Scott Adams, however, announced that he will stop donating to the college, which is his alma mater, after he claimed a professor at the university “made it clear” to him that he would not be welcome back on campus due to his political beliefs.
President Trump also slammed the college’s response to the riot, before raising the idea of defunding UC Berkeley and other schools who do not try their hardest to enforce constitutional rights and uphold freedom of speech on their campuses.
“If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” wrote Trump on Twitter early Thursday morning.
MILO is not the only right-wing speaker to have faced violence during a college talk this past few weeks either.
Four anti-fascists were arrested last week after they became violent during a protest against libertarian commentator and VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes, who was speaking at New York University.
The anti-fascists, who were dressed in the same style as those at the riot in Berkeley, stole an attendee’s MAGA hat, burned it, attempted to assault McInnes, and hurled obscenities at police officers, before storming the venue and interrupting the speech throughout.