The Chancellor of UC Berkeley, Nicholas Dirks, has claimed that the university’s reputation as the home of the free speech movement has not been damaged by the left-wing riots that took place before the final event of MILO’s Dangerous Faggot Tour last week.
In a radio interview with KQED, Dirks said, “I don’t think [our reputation for free speech] has been tarnished at all.”
“In fact, I’ve been hearing from people across the country that we have indeed honored out tradition and have been exemplary in terms of our commitment to freedom of speech,” he continued.
The riot saw protesters smash ATMs and bank windows, loot local stores, assault and pepper spray Trump supporters, and set fires in the street. The total estimated cost of the damage to the university and Berkeley town center is over half a million dollars.
During the interview, Dirks blamed Breitbart and television networks for failing to report the “real news,” adding that Donald Trump’s threat to strip the university of federal funding is “ill-informed.”
“It’s fairly well established that some of the tweets that come out of the White House these days are based on things seen on certain kinds of news sources — whether television or perhaps even Breitbart — and I don’t think the real news got out,” he said.
Dirks has consistently denied student involvement in the riots, instead claiming they were initiated by “armed individuals in ‘ninja-like’ uniforms, using paramilitary tactics.”
One group has so far taken responsibility for the riot, the far-left BAMN (By Any Means Necessary), with organizer Yvette Felarca telling KTVU she has “no regrets” over the riot, adding that “the left has been far too timid for way too long.”
Since the riot, MILO has confirmed he is “planning to return to Berkeley to give the speech I was prevented from delivering, hopefully within the next few months.”