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Right-Wing Activist Holds Short California Rally

John-Morgan / Flickr
 

John-Morgan / Flickr

UPDATE Sunday 1:47 p.m.: Milo Yiannopoulos was whisked away in a car after a brief appearance at the University of California, Berkeley that drew a few dozen supporters and a slightly larger crowd protesting the right-wing provocateur.

Yiannopoulos made a few comments from the steps of Sproul Hall shortly after noon Sunday. He blew kisses, posed for selfies and led a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner before leaving. The appearance lasted less than a half hour before the crowds dispersed.

Demonstrators protesting it were kept behind barricades by police on Sproul Plaza.

Yiannopoulos said Saturday that he would appear at an unsanctioned rally despite the cancellation of a planned four-day event dubbed Free Speech Week.


UPDATE Sunday 10:45 a.m.: (AP) - The police chief at the University of California, Berkeley says authorities are expecting and prepared for protests surrounding "Free Speech Week" even as a student group pulled out of sponsoring the four-day event.

The announcement by Chief Margo Bennett on Saturday comes hours after right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos vowed to appear on campus Sunday, when the event was supposed to begin.

Yiannopoulos says he won't be deterred and will hold a rally with several right-wing commentators at Sproul Plaza, the site of many political demonstrations on campus, "come hell or high water."

His attempt to speak at Berkeley in February was shut down by masked anarchists who rioted on campus.

Bennett says police will be ready for what may happen when a speaker "can just show up."

Original Post: (AP) - Confusion swirls around the "Free Speech Week" event at the University of California, Berkeley with the school saying the event has been canceled, but a featured speaker insists it will go on.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said Saturday that the Berkeley Patriot student organization told university administrators that the four-day event scheduled to start Sunday had been canceled.

But the event's co-organizer, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, says in a Facebook post that while the student group may have pulled out, "I and my speakers have not."

Some headline speakers, including Ann Coulter, have backed away from the event or said their names were listed without their knowledge.

Yiannopoulos' attempt to speak at Berkeley in February was shut down by protesters.

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