Young America’s Foundation was created with the purpose of increasing the number of students that are inspired by the ideals of individual freedoms, strong national defense, free enterprise and traditional values. YAF in recent times has hosted a nationwide series of campus lecture programs with speakers such as Lt. Col. Allen West and former presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina.
The latest in the YAF series, Ann Coulter, had originally been scheduled to speak at UC-Berkeley on April 27, 2017, with the understanding that Berkeley would take all steps needed in order to ensure that the environment of this event was safe and beneficial. However, during the coordination of this event, YAF learned that the University of California has a policy that requires security not to act unless there is an imminent loss of life. This created an opening for liberal activists to act inappropriately without fear of any consequences.
In order to support the safety for the event, YAF made the following requests:
- A central site on the main campus
- A room that could hold hundreds of participants
- Afternoon/early evening timing
- The ability to publicize the event
- For the University to announce that there will be zero tolerance at the event itself for masked agitators, disruption of the event; and sufficient security to make sure the safety of attendees; space for protest to be cordoned in a reasonable and constitutionally permissible distance from event
- For the University to confirm that it has communicated the event details to Berkeley City Police, and had coordinated security with them to make sure that any rioters/violent protestors/masked disruptors are appropriately contained and dealt with
As of 4 PM on April 27th the university failed to meet those demands. YAF was fearful for the safety of their group and has since canceled the event. Coulter reacted by accusing the group of censorship. YAF, however, refutes this claim as false. Coulter was still welcome to go speak. She just did not have the backing of YAF any longer in doing so.
YAF has since filed a lawsuit against UC-Berkeley and is working hard to make sure that the First Amendment freedoms are offered to all students equally. In their press statement, YAF states:
“Ms. Coulter may still choose to speak in some form on campus, but Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students. For information on Ms. Coulter’s plans, please contact her directly.”
Coulter claims that Berkeley and YAF are both at fault. Young America’s Foundation contends that it is primarily concerned for the safety of its members.
I’m so sorry Berkeley canceled my speech. I’m so sorry YAF acquiesced in the cancelation. And I’m so sorry for free speech crushed by thugs.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
As a result of the speech being canceled riots are now beginning to take place on campus. See the event live here: