Ann Coulter's backers at UC Berkeley file lawsuit

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter has told UC Berkeley student groups that she intends to speak on campus Thursday, leaving the full details of her controversial appearance to be decided by university police, demonstrators and counter-protestors. "But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation".

"Her critics would have done well to deny her attention by treating her scheduled appearance with the ambivalent yawn every provocateur most dreads", The Atlantic online magazine said.

In her suit, Dhillon states that the officials at UC Berkeley "freely admit that they have permitted the demands of a faceless, rabid, off-campus mob to dictate what speech is permitted the center of campus during prime time - and which speech may be marginalized, burdened, and regulated out of its very existence by this unlawful heckler's veto".

Tahmas, 20, worked with Bridge USA and the Young America's Foundation earlier this year to invite Coulter, a commentator and best-selling author who's caused controversy with her remarks on topics like immigration and President Donald Trump, to campus.

When alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at Berkeley in February, the protests by some 1,5000 turned chaotic, as windows were smashed and firecrackers were shot into buildings.

If UC-Berkeley is serious about public safety as it says it is - instead of just muzzling Coulter's speech - why doesn't it go all in and stand up for it?

On Monday, the students who invited her sued the University.

Even Massachusetts' own Robert Reich, a Berkeley professor and liberal Democrat who served in the Clinton administration, has criticized the college's handling of the Coulter affair.

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Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer for Berkeley College Republicans, held a news conference in San Francisco later in the day to discuss the lawsuit.

University spokesman Dan Moguluf said, "Ann Coulter is welcome on this campus but at a time when we can provide a venue that law enforcement professionals believe to be protectable".

Coulter has said she will speak at Berkeley on Thursday regardless of the university's position because she has a contract.

The Young Americans Foundation at UC Berkeley will not move forward with the Ann Coulter event on Thursday.

It also accuses school officials of caving into the "whims" of so-called antifa (anti-fascist) groups that have recently protested various conservative events around the country.

"The campus seeks to ensure that all members of the Berkeley and larger community- including Ms. Coulter herself- remain safe during such an event", the statement concluded.

The university applies its unwritten policy on high-profile speakers in a discriminatory manner to restrict conservative speech on campus, the groups claim in their lawsuit.

Political comedian Bill Maher, certainly no conservative, touched on this troubling pattern on his HBO show "Real Time" last week. They are easily accommodated with campus security and aren't asked to repeatedly reschedule events.

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