FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a group from campus due to its political viewpoint, and even investigated a professor for a satirical tweet — eventually driving him to resign.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has identified America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech, published today with detailed descriptions on FIRE’s website.
This year’s list includes the following institutions, in no particular order:
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Los Angeles Community College District (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Fordham University (New York, N.Y.)
  • Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
  • Albion College (Albion, Mich.)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
  • Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas)
The institutions on FIRE’s annual list of worst colleges include one university that threatened the funding and editorial process of its independent student newspaper, another that erected fences around campus to keep peaceful student demonstrators out of sight of donors, and yet another that put a student through a months-long investigation and a four-hour hearing for a joke. (That student is still waiting to learn his fate!)
“College administrators, and sometimes even students, are going to greater and greater lengths to justify muzzling expression on campus,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “This type of censorship makes for a sterile environment where lively debate and discussion can’t thrive. The public deserves to know which colleges will defend free expression — and which ones will go to seemingly any length to silence it.”
For the first time, FIRE also awarded a Lifetime Censorship Award to one university that threatens the free speech rights of its students and faculty so often that it deserves individual infamy: DePaul University.
DePaul earned the 2018 Lifetime Censorship Award in recognition of its decade-long rap sheet of suppressing speech at every turn. From denying recognition to a student organization criticizing marijuana laws, to forcing the DePaul Socialists, Young Americans for Freedom, and College Republicans to pay for security in order to host speakers at their meetings and events, to forbidding a group from using the slogan “Gay Lives Matter,” DePaul has staked out a leadership position in stifling campus expression.
FIRE’s 2018 list includes both public and private institutions. Public colleges and universities are bound by the First Amendment. Private colleges on this list are not required by the Constitution to respect student and faculty speech rights, but explicitly promise to do so.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in California College Free Speech Case

Photo: Ben Shapiro was one of the high-profile speakers hosted by YAF this year at UC Berkeley. The event prompted counter-protests, a high level of security, and offers of counseling for students who did not feel safe.
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans v. Janet Napolitano. The plaintiffs, Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) and Young America’s Foundation (YAF), allege that the University of California, Berkeley, enforced a double standard when applied to free speech. BCR alleges that UC Berkeley applied a more rigorous and highly discretionary set of rules to their organization compared to other campus groups, especially with respect to “high-profile” campus speakers.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit as a result of excessive hurdles BCR faced in bringing speakers of their choice onto campus. They allege that UC Berkeley’s High Profile Speaker Policy and Major Events Policy violated their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that Berkeley’s “High-Profile Speaker Policy” granted administrators unfettered discretion to decide which speakers are subject to arduous curfews, prohibitive security costs, or undesirable venues. In one instance, administrators—who had full discretion to determine who constituted a “high-profile speaker”—established a 3:00 pm “curfew” that conflicted with class times.

While the plaintiffs attempted to book speakers under the restrictions of the “High-Profile Speaker Policy,” a former president of Mexico and a former White House adviser were hosted at the University, but University administrators did not apply the High-Profile Speakers Policy to those events.

Berkeley counseling for impact speakers “have on individuals’ sense of safety & belonging”

In filing the Statement of Interest, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand provided the following statement:

“This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights.”

In addition to the statement, Associate Attorney General today penned an op-ed(link is external) on the issue of campus free speech.

This is the third Statement of Interest filed by the Department of Justice in a First Amendment case under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The first was filed on September 26, 2017 in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, and the second was filed on October 24, 2017 in Shaw v. Burke.

Attorney General Sessions reestablished the Department’s commitment to protecting First Amendment rights—especially campus free speech– in a speech at Georgetown Law School in 2017.

Milo’s Berkeley Event: Lawsuit Filed Against Berkeley & Violent Mob of Anarchists

Photo courtesy YouTube UC Berkeley Riots.

Plaintiffs:

JOHN JENNINGS, an individual; KATRINA
REDELSHEIMER, an individual; TREVER
HATCH, an individual; and DONALD
FLETCHER, an individual

Allegations:

1. Violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
(42 U.S.C. § 1983)
2. Violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
(42 U.S.C. § 1983 – Monell)
3. Violation of Ralph Act
(Cal. Civ. Code 51.7 & 52)
4. Violation of Bane Act
(Cal. Civ. Code §§ 52 & 52.1)
5. Civil Battery and Conspiracy
6. Negligence
7. Premises Liability; Negligence
8. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
9. False Imprisonment
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Defendants:

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA; JANET NAPOLITANO, in
her official capacity as President of the
University of California; NICHOLAS B.
DIRKS, individually as former Chancellor of
University of California, Berkeley; CAROL T.
CHRIST, individually and in her official
capacity as Chancellor of University of
California, Berkeley; STEPHEN C. SUTTON,
individually and in his official capacity as
Interim Vice Chancellor of the Student Affairs

Division of University of California, Berkeley;
JOSEPH D. GREENWELL, individually and
in his official capacity as Associate Vice
Chancellor and Dean of Students of University
of California, Berkeley; MARGO BENNETT,
individually and in her official capacity as Chief
of Police of University of California Police
Department, at Berkeley; ALEX YAO,
individually and in his official capacity as
Operations Division Captain of University of
California Police Department, at Berkeley;
LEROY M. HARRIS, individually and in his
official capacity as Patrol Lieutenant of
University of California Police Department, at
Berkeley; IAN DABNEY MILLER, an
individual, RAHA MIRABDAL, a.k.a. SHADI
BANOO, an individual; CITY OF
BERKELEY, a municipal corporation (Berkeley
California); CITY OF BERKELEY POLICE
DEPARTMENT, a municipal subdivision
(Berkeley California); ANDREW R.
GREENWOOD, individually and in his official
capacity as Interim Chief of Police of the City of
Berkeley (Berkeley California); CITY OF
BERKELEY DOES 1-50; UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY DOES 51-100;
and RIOT DOES 101-150.
Defendants.

Full lawsuit includes photo documentation:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/0579eca0bf695b09b40266abc/files/e5f11be7-76e3-4b99-bc2b-223439636793/complaint.pdf

Introduction to Complaint:

INTRODUCTION
1. This action seeks to protect and vindicate fundamental rights. It is a civil rights action brought under the Fourteenth Amendment against government actors responsible for creating dangerous conditions and exposing the Plaintiffs to physical harm caused by a violent mob of anarchists at a student-sponsored Milo Yiannopolous event (“Yiannopolous event”) scheduled to take place at the University of California, Berkeley (“UC Berkeley” and “University”) on February 1, 2017. Government actors took affirmative measures in preparation for and in response to the riotous mob that left the Plaintiffs in a situation more dangerous than the one in which they found the Plaintiffs.
2. Government actors are responsible for creating and exposing the Plaintiffs to the unlawful actions of an angry mob of violent anarchists by directing law enforcement officers to vacate locations in and around Sproul Plaza and the MLK Center at UC Berkeley, agitating the mob by
issuing feckless disbursal orders and empty threats of arrest from a vantage point where they could ensure their own safety while leaving Plaintiffs exposed to violent assaults, erecting barricades in such
a manner as to enable angry malefactors to surround Plaintiffs and assault them and to deprive Plaintiffs of an exit route, failing to enforce the law and by other affirmative actions. By their failure to intervene or employ reasonable tactical methods to ensure the safety of the Plaintiffs and the public, government actors conducted their official duties with deliberate indifference to the Plaintiffs’ safety, permitting hordes of violent rioters to swarm the university campus in a violent rage. By their failure, government actors are thus responsible for creating and exposing Plaintiffs to known and obvious danger.
3. This action additionally seeks relief from government actors who failed to exercise their duty of care to plan effectively for the foreseeable harms brought upon the Plaintiffs and from the perpetrators of unlawful assaults.

 

FIRE’s 2017 year in review for student and faculty rights on campus

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 28, 2017 — From students shouting down an invited speaker and injuring a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont to the violent Berkeley protests in California, the campus free speech debate swept the nation in 2017. Throw in the withdrawal of the federal government’s controversial “Dear Colleague” letter that for over six years threatened the due process rights of students and faculty accused of sexual misconduct, and it’s easy to see why the offices at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education were anything but quiet this year.
As 2017 comes to a close, FIRE looks back on a year of challenges and triumphs — a year during which more students and faculty members than ever before approached FIRE to help protect their rights.
“Students and faculty shouldn’t have to appeal to an outside organization like FIRE in order to exercise their speech rights or get a fair shake in campus judicial proceedings, but the sad reality is that they do,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “We worked with policymakers to help inform common-sense legislation and administrators to implement speech-friendly campus policies. And we’ll continue this work until student and faculty rights are secured.”
FIRE’s highlights from 2017 include:
  • FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program received more than 900 requests for help from students and faculty members across the country in 2017 — more requests than any other year in FIRE’s history. FIRE’s defense of student and faculty rights took us to Howard UniversityFordham UniversityWichita State UniversityUniversity of New HampshireRensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and many more schools this year.
  • In February, FIRE released the first-ever nationwide report on campus Bias Response Teams. These teams encourage students to formally report on one another and on faculty members whenever they subjectively perceive that someone’s speech is “biased.” The report found that 232 public and private American colleges and universities publicly maintained bias response programs, affecting an estimated 2.8 million students.
  • In another win for FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld FIRE’s victory at Iowa State University. And in March, the project filed a new lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District that aims to free over 150,000 students from unconstitutional free speech zones. The litigation project’s 13 total lawsuits have so far restored free speech rights to more than 270,000 students.
  • In May, Tennessee passed bipartisan legislation that FIRE called “the most comprehensive state legislation protecting free speech on college campuses that we’ve seen be passed anywhere in the country.” The legislation requires institutions to adopt policies consistent with the University of Chicago’s Free Speech Policy Statement, prohibits the use of misleadingly labeled “free speech zones,” bars institutions from rescinding invitations to speakers invited by students or faculty, and more. Campus free speech legislation also passed this year in ColoradoUtah, and North Carolina.
  • In September, FIRE released a first-of-its-kind report on due process at America’s top universities, which found that 85 percent of schools rated received a D or F grade for not ensuring due process rights. Shockingly, 74 percent of top universities do not even expressly guarantee accused students the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • Just two days after the due process report was released, the Department of Education announced it would rescind the controversial 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened the due process rights of students and faculty accused of sexual misconduct on campus. For six and a half years, FIRE led the fight against the misguided letter.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned FIRE’s work in a speech on the importance of free speech at Georgetown University. Sessions highlighted FIRE’s Spotlight database and our lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District. The Department of Justice later filed a statement of interest in the lawsuit.
  • In October, FIRE released a groundbreaking survey on free speech that found a majority of students on college campuses self-censor in class, support disinviting some guest speakers with whom they disagree, and don’t know that so-called “hate speech” is usually protected by the First Amendment. The study also found that Republican and Democratic students have different opinions on campus protests, disinvitations, and hate speech protections.
  • FIRE’s So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, launched in Spring 2016, released its 50th episode. The bi-weekly show takes an uncensored look at the world of free expression through personal stories and candid conversations. This year the podcast featured Daryl Davis, a black musician who convinces people to leave the Ku Klux Klan through open dialogue; the all-Asian rock band The Slants, who took their free speech fight all the way to the Supreme Court and won; and Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU, on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
  • Earlier this month, Emory University became the 11th institution to earn FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating in 2017, bringing the total number of green light institutions to 37.
  • And just last week, FIRE released its annual Spotlight on Speech Codes report, which found that the number of colleges with FIRE’s poorest, “red light” rating for maintaining speech codes that both clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech is down to 32.3 percent — seven percentage points lower than last year and almost 42 percentage points lower than in FIRE’s 2009 report.
“For the tenth year in a row, the most harmful speech codes are coming off the books throughout the country,” said Shibley. “But the growth of bias response teams, the continued disinvitation of invited speakers and — most alarmingly — the violence on too many campuses show us that we have a lot of work to do in 2018 and beyond.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

Milo vs. Refuse Fascism Today in Berkeley 9.24.17: No Masks Allowed

MARCH FOR FREE SPEECH EVENT COURTESY FACEBOOK

The March for Free Speech through UC Berkeley with Milo Yiannopoulos, Pamela Geller, Mike Cernovich, and more speakers will take place this Sunday at 12:00pm (NOON).

COUNTER-EVENT

Sunsara Taylor, a writer for Revcom.us and one of the co-initiators of Refuse Fascism, has called on everyone to stand up against Milo at Sproul at 10 am to preempt Milo’s plans.

“Refuse Fascism along with other groups is planning to be out at Sproul on Sunday to protest and confront the Milo-led fascists, and understand full well that this battle is far from over, and that it underscores the urgency of driving this whole fascist regime from power.” Courtesy Refuse Fascism.org

UC Berkeley Police Department said in an alert that there is still a possibility for large crowds and demonstrations on and near campus Sept. 24.

The list of prohibited items is as follows:

No backpacks or bags

Weapons (firearms/simulated firearms)

Ammunition

Weapons (dirks/daggers /ice picks)

Improvised Weapons as determined by Law Enforcement Officers

Tasers /stun guns or similar devices

Mace/pepper spray/bear spray/wasp spray

Hard plastic, metal, or glass bottles and jars (Nalgene, bike water bottles, etc.)

Wearing masks of any kind

Gas masks

Helmets

Animals other than working service animals

No object/sign larger than 30” X 30” (objects/signs will only be allowed if made of foam core, cardboard or paper)

Shields

Balls or other projectiles

Hard or frozen fruit/vegetables

Sticks /selfie sticks/poles/clubs/pipes (wood, plastic or metal)

Chains with padlocks

Baseball bats

Fireworks

Explosive devices

Incendiary devices

Aerosols/pressurized cans

Batteries

Hard coolers

Umbrellas

Artificial noise making devices

Monos/tripods

Laser pointers

Tobacco products (including e-cigarettes)

Skateboards/scooters/bicycles

Bicycle U-locks

Balloons

Illegal drugs

BBQ Grills of any kind (charcoal, propane, etc.)

Structures, canopies or pop-up tents

Wagons or carts that can be pulled

Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems

Packages

Liquid (other than water in factory-sealed, clear plastic bottles

Milo’s Modified Plan for Berkeley Free Speech Event Outlined in Press Conference

Although original plans for a 4-day Free Speech Week in Berkeley hosted by Milo Yiannapoulos have been tabled, a Free Speech event is still planned for Sunday, September 24, 2017 at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza at noon.

Flanked by conservatives Mike Cernovich and Pamela Geller, who promise to attend the rally, as well as Lauren Southern and others.

Link to full press conference:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/myiannopoulos/videos/?ref=page_internal

Below is his full press release regarding the event and Milo’s official statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MILO YIANNOPOULOS STATEMENT ON FREE SPEECH WEEK

9/23/2017

We are calling an emergency press conference today earlier than scheduled for two reasons.

First, I’m sorry to say that the student group hosting Free Speech Week has withdrawn its sponsorship. We were not given advance notice of this and I’m disappointed to have been completely blindsided by their letter, a copy of which is available on my Facebook and YouTube.

I do understand their fears and they are right on all counts when they say UC Berkeley is threatening their educational futures. But we cannot host an official university event without a student sponsor.

So: we will be hosting an unofficial university event. My security team confirmed to me this morning that the police department will be out in force on Sproul Plaza tomorrow at noon. We will not be deterred. We will proceed no matter what, in whatever format we can, to realise the promise of Free Speech Week and send a message that conservatives will not be bowed by pressure from academics, the media or anyone else.

UC Berkeley hypocritically named this academic year its “Year of Free Speech”, which is something you’d only do if you had a really serious PR problem. That PR problem will be worse, not better, today, and Berkeley has only itself to blame.

The administration has done everything in its power to crush its own students’ aspirations. UC Berkeley may have a deservedly poor reputation for free speech, and its students will graduate knowing less than when they came in as freshmen, but you have to give the school credit: they are masters of bureaucratic dirty dealing.

Under the terms currently offered to us by the university, Berkeley Free Speech Week could be more safely held in a London no-go zone or in a Paris Shariah-compliant area. It would be safer to stand in a Stockholm ghetto and blame Muslims for the rape epidemic in Sweden than to embrace free speech in Berkeley, a town that considers ANTIFA its unofficial police force. Nonetheless, we will be continuing with our plans, albeit in modified form.

I had hoped to use this press conference to discuss the speakers and events planned for Berkeley Free Speech Week. And I will. But that has become a little more complicated as of late last night. The first thing to tell you is that there will indeed be speeches and rallies this week, beginning tomorrow on the UC Berkeley campus. But before I continue, I’d like to reaf a statement from Mike Wright of the Berkeley Patriot.

*******************************************************************

The Berkeley Patriot, a UC Berkeley student organization had proposed hosting a “free speech” week on the campus later this month. Contrary to their assurances and to their statements to the media, the UC Berkeley administration has done everything in its bureaucratic powers to obstruct and prevent the Free Speech Week event from occurring.

Despite depositing tens of thousands of dollars in reservation monies, submitting to endless forms and duplicate requests for information, and being subjected to overt pressure to discontinue the event, the students of the Berkeley Patriot persevered.

However, after the Berkeley Patriot filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice earlier this week, the UC Berkeley administration began an extensive, co-ordinated campaign of harassment and retaliation against our members. Baseless and unconstitutional charges of “hate speech” and other odious campus rules violations have been leveled against our members, coupled with threats to conduct “investigations.” The adminstration’s threats are reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials.

Several members of the Berkeley Patriot are concerned that there will be consequences up to and including expulsion from the university as retaliation for our sponsorship of Free Speech Week. These threats to the academic freedom and futures of our members are too much to bear. Accordingly, we must regretfully withdraw our sponsorship.

Let there be no mistake. We would not be cancelling the event but for the wrongful, illegal, and retaliatory action by the UC Berkeley administration-actions that escalated after we filed our complaint with the Justice Department. Milo Yiannopoulos and his team at Milo, Inc did everything they could to make Free Speech Week a success, including underwriting the event. They have already spent over $100,000 on security fees and other costs.

Retaliation by government officials against persons who make complaints of corruption or other government misconduct can result in criminal or civil liability. Because of the retaliatory actions by the UC Berkeley administration, the Berkeley Patriot, through its legal counsel, is in the process of filing an additional complaint with the US Department of Justice for retaliation. We will release a copy of the complaint when it is sent to the appropriate federal agencies.

We apologize to the many people who have travelled in to California for this event. We hope you understand that UC Berkeley has placed us in an impossible position from which there is no happy resolution.

*******************************************************************

So, UC Berkeley this week engineered a witch hunt in the form of a formal police investigation against its own students. It’s almost impossible to believe. We learned it in an email from Chancellor Christ. This is the same Chancellor Christ who previously declared that Berkeley is the home of free speech. But as soon as a couple of Republican students put up posters that offended her, she called for a police investigation into hate crimes.

Since when did putting up offensive posters become a crime in America? It’s the foulest hypocrisy imaginable and it reveals what’s really going on. Berkeley has become a police state that sticks the cops on students who say things that the administration doesn’t like.

What’s more, various officials from the university have privately threatened these students’ academic careers, their hopes and their futures. I cannot ask the Berkeley Patriot to risk their entire futures and nor should anyone else.

With the loss of our student sponsor and absent a sensible agreement from UC Berkeley itself about indoor venues, I can confirm today that we will be rescheduling Ann Coulter and Steven Bannon for later in the academic year.

But to repeat, tomorrow’s rally will proceed.

UC Berkeley knew that our headline speakers had to be indoors for security reasons. In fact, their security advisors reached the same conclusion as ours — for speakers like Ann Coulter, who had already experienced Berkeley’s trademark hostility, there was no way an outdoor venue could be made safe. To say nothing of the former chief strategist to the President, Steve Bannon. Or Uncle Steve as he’s known now to the conservative movement.

Berkeley thus made it their mission to shut down the arrangements the Berkeley Patriot made for speaking halls, and forced Berkeley Free Speech Week to be an outside-only event.

To ensure the venues were lost, they wrote contracts with the Berkeley Patriot that lacked a force majeure clause. This means that the six figure security fees they were demanding were non-refundable in the event that Berkeley itself cancelled the event. Why would the students sign a contract without a force majeure clause, when the university has proven time and time again it is happy for Antifa and friends to shut down events as they stand by watching?

Then the administration dodged questions on that very clear and simple point for days on end. A fully annotated email history is available on my Facebook and Instagram and to the people in this room today for those who’d like more granular detail.

While this was going on, UC Berkeley engaged in a co-ordinated and massive misinformation campaign with the willing participation of the press, including some of the journalists in this room, who credulously reported whatever the university told them.

Two narratives have sprung up as a result. The first is that the Berkeley Patriots were hopelessly disorganized. This is largely untrue, though of course I am disappointed by their actions today.

The second is that I somehow knowingly allowed fans to spend money travelling to Berkeley though I suspected the event would be cancelled. This is equally false.

To those fans who travelled long distances and booked hotels to be here, I am sorry that UC Berkeley screwed you like they did. They screwed all of us. I’m out $100,000 on this event with no realistic prospect of ever seeing that money again.

For those of you in the press who think this was all a charade for attention, grow up. There are a lot cheaper ways to make headlines than wiring $65,000 to UC Berkeley. To say nothing of the staff time and other expenses we have already incurred. I would not have asked Mike, a friend of mine, to miss time with his children for a publicity stunt. And I wouldn’t have wired Berkeley tens of thousands of dollars either.

But even though I lay the blame for this event squarely at the feet of UC Berkeley administrators, I am going to make it right for the people who travelled in. Please forward your flight tickets, train receipts and hotel reservations to berkeley@milo-inc.com. We have a huge surprise planned for you tomorrow.

I deeply appreciate the efforts freedom-loving Americans have gone to in order to support this event and I am personally grateful to the fans who came in from all four corners of the earth. I want you to know that I share your frustration with the administration and with the media, and that I will take care of you. Berkeley did this to you, but I’m going to fix it.

I’m also announcing today that I am endowing conservative students at Berkeley with $10,000 so that they can continue the good work of holding UC Berkeley’s feet to the fire. This endowment will be called the Mario Savio Free Speech Fund and it is intended to mitigate the damage done to the Berkeley Patriot and conservatives on campus by UC Berkeley’s bureaucratic machinations.

I have with me here today the Mario Savio Award for Free Speech, which I intended to give Ann Coulter on the final night of Free Speech Week. I considered smashing it on the steps on Sproul Plaza to declare that free speech at Berkeley is dead, but instead I will take it home and keep it in my closet until the day we successfully host Ann on Berkeley’s campus. I’m optimistic that this will be very soon.

UC Berkeley has decided to transition from being the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement to the funeral pyre of free speech. But I will not allow them to win. They may have forced us to reschedule some of our headliners. They may have chased away most of our warm-up acts with fear, uncertainty and doubt. But we will not be deterred.

In my capacity as a private person I will give a speech every day from Sunday to Wednesday on the steps of Sproul Plaza and speak at length on the subjects Free Speech Week was advertised to cover.

Although without student sponsorship we can no longer offer our speakers the police protection that would have come with an officially registered event at UC Berkeley, we nevertheless invite the Berkeley PD to make peaceable assembly in Sproul Plaza safe in the coming week, so that I, and anyone else who would like to speak in his or her capacity as a private citizen, can exercise our Constitutional rights without bodily harm. I will be joined tomorrow on the Berkeley campus by Mike Cernovich, Lauren Southern, Sabo, Ariana Rowlands, Lisa de Pasquale and Pamela Geller.

The reason we’ve gone to all this trouble is simple but important. Free speech is under threat like never before on college campuses. A recent survey from the Brookings Institute paints an even scarier picture: 1 in 5 students are fine with violence as a response to unpopular or controversial speech. This is the devastating legacy of three decades of unchallenged progressivism on American college campuses.

Berkeley is the home of the Free Speech Movement, supposedly. But Berkeley opposed free speech from the Left in the 60s just as it opposes it from the Right today. Both positions are wrongheaded and dangerous. Although the political dynamics of free speech have changed — now it’s conservatives fighting the liberal establishment for the right to express themselves — one thing remains constant from the 1960s to today, and that is UC Berkeley’s unwavering hostility to free expression.

Although I’m disappointed by Chancellor Christ’s and Janet Napolitano’s statements about me and about our speakers, I recognize and appreciate their commitment, however perfunctory, to the First Amendment in their commitment of police resources to Free Speech Week. I respect their difference of opinion, but I think they are deeply misguided about the sort of people we are.

I invite the Chancellor and I invite Janet Napolitano to debate me on free speech. Perhaps Sam Harris or Dave Rubin could moderate, on the Berkeley campus of course. America has been waiting for a clash of worldviews on this most critical of subjects. How about we make it happen?

Planning Free Speech Week has been very expensive and very complicated. We have been asked to spend hundreds of thousands on an event at Berkeley while Berkeley refuses to deal with us directly, insisting on working though students because it knows it can hoodwink, manipulate, bully and intimidate them.

But we soldier on knowing we are on the right side of history, knowing that free speech has to be fought for anew in every generation, knowing that in the end, common sense will prevail and freedom will win. There is no appetite in America for the destruction or erosion of the First Amendment. But only a few people each generation bother to stand up for the rights of everyone else.

The good news is that there are some happy warriors left. The even better news is that Free Speech Week is just the opening salvo in a seven-month long assault on leftist intolerance in American universities. If you thought this was the end of something, sorry, think again. I’m going to be doing this for another 30 years.

We will go through this madness, and we will do it again and again and again, until conservative speakers are given the same rights and privileges as their left-wing counterparts at every college in the country. I will not rest until every student in America feels able to share their politics openly and proudly without fear of being marked down on essays, laughed at in the classroom or punished for inviting their speaker of choice.

Along those lines, Ariana Rowlands, chair emeritus of the College Republicans at UC Irvine, has a plan.

**********************************

Due to the constant and increasing suppression of conservative rights by college administrators, as made even only more apparent by UC Berkeley’s cowardly handling of Free Speech Week, I would like to propose the creation of a California College Republicans Legal Defense Team. This team of lawyers would be for the purpose of providing legal assistance to College Republican chapters in the state and is something we do not currently have at our disposal. Our current resources have been organizations like FIRE, Harmeet Dhillon Law Firm, Shawn Steel Law Firm, and Freedom X. Under the current model California College Republicans has not played an essential role in connecting College Republican chapters with legal support, and I feel this has led to the lack in confidence on the part of many college students who end up being too scared to stand up and take action. The purpose of the team would be as follows:

1. To connect chartered College Republican chapters with free legal assistance should they need it.
2. To deter college administrations and instructors from suppressing College Republican chapters
3. To provide assurance to College Republicans that they will be protected and that the organization they charter under will provide that.

It is my hope that announcing my intention to create a California College Republicans Legal Defense Team at this press conference today will not only create an immediate deterrence to prevent college administrations and professors from targeting conservative students and groups, but that it will also gain national attention and hopefully lead other states and maybe the national level to do the same. Now’s the time to show the left we’re going to fight back, and we’re not going to take the suppression of our rights any more.

**********************************

UC Berkeley is not the end. It is just the beginning. My new international TROLL ACADEMY tour starts in a month, with dates throughout the US, UK. Germany and Australia.

I’m happy to exclusively reveal today the first four dates of the tour.

Wednesday October 25 I’ll be speaking at Cal State Bakersfield — I’m happy to at last confirm that one, and thank you to the students there who have been working so hard to make it happen
On Friday and Saturday October 27 and 28 I’ll be at the Phoenix Convention Center in front of an audience of 2,000. I understand Ted Cruz and Allan West pulled out when he heard I was headlining the first — you’re welcome, Republicans.)
Sunday October 29 we’re at San Diego State University
And then Tuesday October 31, I’m excited to be at Cal State Fullerton.

To the student groups considering hosting a Troll Academy event, you can be rest assured that we will devote the time and assets needed to help you deal with hostile schools. Most schools are neither as capable nor as black-hearted as Berkeley when it comes to stopping free speech on their campus, and we will assist you every step of the way.

To find the current schedule and more information about the Troll Academy tour, visit trollacademy.org.

Instead of letting the inmates run the asylum, many universities welcome speakers some students find controversial. Among those who still try dirty tricks to keep speakers like me off campus, the vast majority do not possess the resources, clout, and pure malevolent evil of UC Berkeley, so their efforts to keep me off campus will be unsuccessful.

No matter how successful the Troll Academy tour is, it would not be complete if we granted Berkeley a victory in preventing me from speaking in an indoor venue properly policed and ticketed, just as any other speaker would be. Therefore, I am happy to announce that UC Berkeley will be part of the Troll Academy tour. I will return to Berkeley, at the invitation of the Berkeley Patriot, in April 2018.

The administration of UC Berkeley would be well served by not repeating their actions from Free Speech Week with my next appearance on campus. It will not work forever, and they can rest assured that I am just as obstinate and determined as they are. So are Berkeley’s Republican and libertarian students.

Finally, I have some more good news. One of the many things I’ve been able to do with the $12 million investment I received earlier this year is establish myself as America’s most exciting new publisher of dangerous books. My new publishing house, Dangerous Books, established with $3 million investment this year, is today announcing its second title, after my own New York Times bestselling memoir.

The book is called Fatwa: Hunted in America, and to tell you about it, here is the author, Pamela Geller.