Berkeley ‘Braces’ for Speech by Ben Shapiro, Will Have ‘Visible Police Presence’

Antifa members and counter protesters gather during an event at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Berkeley, Calif. / Getty Images

Antifa members and counter protesters gather during an event at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Berkeley, Calif. / Getty Images

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An upcoming speech by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro at the University of California-Berkeley has necessitated increased security measures at the campus.

In a story headlined "Berkeley braces for right-wing talk show host Ben Shapiro's visit," the Los Angeles Times reported that Shapiro's Sept. 14 speech will require an "increased and highly visible police presence" and a "closed perimeter" around the building where he will speak:

A number of university buildings near Zellerbach Hall, the event’s location, will be closed that afternoon. In order to pass through security barriers, people will have to show tickets for the speech.

The university also is offering counseling to students and faculty worried about the event, which is being held at the invitation of the Berkeley College Republicans.

[…]

Berkeley has been the site of far-left violence several times this year already. "Antifa" members assaulted Donald Trump supporters at a peaceful protest last month, leading Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other Democratic leaders to denounce their violent tactics.

In February, violent protests met right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos' planned address on Berkeley's campus; the university canceled the event in response.

Shapiro is the editor of the Daily Wire who formerly worked at Breitbart NewsHe left Breitbart last year over criticism of its support for Donald Trump, who he called a "bully."

Twitter users mocked the Los Angeles Times headline and Berkeley by extension for suggesting the campus was afraid of Shapiro, a strong advocate of free speech.

Berkeley announced last week it was offering "counseling services" for students and faculty due to concern about "the impact some speakers may have on individuals' sense of safety and belonging."

Shapiro himself sent an amusing tweet to mock the campus' announcement of counseling services.

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