Ann Coulter appearance on campus gathers hundreds of protesters, multiple arrests

Ann Coulter appearance on campus gathers hundreds of protesters, multiple arrests

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On Wednesday night, hundreds of protesters gathered on the UC Berkeley campus to rally against the appearance of conservative pundit Ann Coulter.

The event: Barricades were erected in front of Wheeler Hall, and police in riot gear guarded the main entrances to the building. The words "Berkeley stands united against hate" and "Why do the Berkeley College Republicans keep inviting Nazis on campus?" were projected onto Wheeler.

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Coulter was hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans for a talk called "Adios, America!" The event description said Coulter would be "speaking about the current United States immigration system and the dangers of mass immigration."

Doors opened for ticket-holders at 8 p.m., but attendees struggled to get inside with so many demonstrators outside the hall, SF Gate reports. Some of the protestors chanted, "Don't let them in."

Coulter was escorted in through the main doors by police. She began speaking shortly before 9:30 p.m. and was almost immediately interrupted by a protester. The protester was handcuffed and removed, according to a reporter inside the auditorium. The entire talk lasted about an hour.

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After the event was over, attendees were escorted out of a side door by police. UC Berkeley and UCPD spokespeople said “six or seven” people were arrested and one was injured during the night on campus, Berkleyside reports. UCPD Chief Margo Bennett said the injured person had a ticket to the event and “was victimized in the crowd” and transported to the hospital.

In 2017, Coulter was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley, but the conservative group partially funding the talk pulled its support due to concerns that there would be inadequate security. Coulter called the school "a radical thuggish institution" and accused the administration of suppressing "the cherished American right to free speech."

The VP of Berkeley College Republicans said they see Coulter as an important figure in national politics because her influence on President Trump's immigration policies.

In 2018, Coulter called immigrant children separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border "child actors weeping and crying."

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Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore

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