Former Breitbart Senior Editor MILO published a video and press release Monday condemning UC Berkeley for allegedly attempting to shut down the upcoming Free Speech Week.
Former Breitbart Senior Editor MILO posted a video to YouTube Monday disputing a claim that the student group organising the upcoming Free Speech Week had failed to file the appropriate paperwork for the event by a given deadline. MILO claims a number of emails and documents prove that the Berkely Patriot group did, in fact, contact the college multiple times but were “stonewalled,” regularly receiving no response whatsoever from the university.
A press release from MILO Inc. states the Berkeley Patriot group worked for months to ensure that all necessary permits, permissions, and venue reservations had been obtained. This included reservations in the Upper Sproul, Lower Sproul, Anna Head Hall, Wheeler Hall, and the Zellerbach Auditorium. MILO declared all paperwork was filed by the required deadline and MILO Inc. paid the required $65,758.76 for the event to arrive at 8AM EST Monday, but the university has yet to confirm if they will grant access to Wheeler Hall and Zellerbach Auditorium.
The Berkeley Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Steve Sutton, claimed in an email that the Berkeley Patriot group had not filed the necessary paperwork in time. MILO says Sutton failed to mention that the Berkeley Patriot Group sent numerous emails to UC Berkeley faculty about security, refunds, and insurance policies and received no reply from the university.
“On the advice of our attorney, we had asked the University to amend the contracts for Wheeler and Zellerbach to provide for a partial refund if the University cancelled the event,” claimed a member of the Berkeley Patriot familiar with the situation. “Given the University’s history of cancelling conservative events, this was an entirely reasonable request, but they evaded our question for weeks. When the University’s Interim Vice Chancellor finally did email us a contract at 3:30PM ET last Friday, the contract lacked the refund provision entirely. Instead it came with a 90-minute deadline that we had to sign and pay $65,000 that day. We signed and returned it immediately, but the Interim Vice Chancellor refused to accept it anyway.”
Pranav Jandhyala, News Editor for the Berkeley Patriot, said in a statement, “It’s quite simple: The University didn’t want the event to happen, but they couldn’t cancel outright, so they needed to make it look like it was our own fault. What we’ve experienced throughout this entire four months has been bureaucratic stonewalling.”
Jandhyala went on to describe the response that the Berkeley Patriot group has received from the university, saying, “At every step of the way they’ve been uncommunicative – not responding to emails, unable to meet, rescheduling meetings, everything they could try to do to throw sticks in the spokes. We’ve been doing everything possible, and the University has, of course, only thrown obstacles at us in a strategic, bureaucratic, and methodical way.”