UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ has reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to free speech in an email that was sent to students on Wednesday morning.
“Berkeley, as you know, is the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students on the right and students on the left united to fight for the right to advocate political views on campus,” Christ said in her email. “Particularly now, it is critical that the Berkeley community come together once again to protect this right. It is who we are,” Chancellor Christ wrote.
Christ also announced that former Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited to return back to campus this fall. His previous visit, which occurred at the beginning of 2017, left the campus ablaze after student protesters bashed windows, set fires, and pepper-sprayed attendees.
The Chancellor also claimed that the administration is establishing a commitment to punishing any students that engaging in political violence to shut down speakers. “The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal,” Christ said in Wednesday’s email. “If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.”
Chris also announced in earlier statements that this year will be dedicated to “free speech.” That announcement was widely panned by the Berkeley community, with many claiming that the decision was insensitive to those who are targeted by “hate speech.”