Berkeley College Republicans have cancelled an event with conservative writer David Horowitz after the university administration allegedly tried to keep the event secret and hardly accessible to the public.
(Horowitz — who writes about political correctness, race and religion — is deeply unpopular among liberals who’ve accused him of racism and bigotry, charges Horowitz denies)
According to a press release from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the campus administration and Berkeley’s police department (UCPD) instructed the Berkeley Republican group to keep the event details like the location in secret. Horowitz claims the university officials have “taken a page out of Orwell.”
“Administrators have banned Horowitz from speaking on the campus proper and have assigned him a facility half a mile away,” the press release accused the university. “Administrators insisted Horowitz could speak only at 1PM when afternoon classes are starting and most students would have difficulty attending.”
Berkeley campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof denied the allegations made by Horowitz, claiming the administration played no part in trying to make the timing and location of the event secret.
He told The Daily Californian that following a riot caused by Milo Yiannopoulos appearance on campus in February, the group organizing the event insisted the campus take appropriate measures to ensure safety. UCPD chose a time and location that would help to minimize the potential for violence.
Mogulof added that, according to the UCPD’s review of planning and security arrangements for events, timing and location of an event play a big role in ensuring public’s safety.
“This (time and location of the event) has absolutely nothing to do with the views or perspectives of the speaker. This has absolutely nothing to do with the identity of the student group,” he said. “This is solely about providing safety and security for those who want to attend, those who want to lawfully protest and for the speaker.”
As noted by Heat Street in February, perhaps Berkeley should instead take the threats of possible violence seriously rather than creating barriers that lead to cancellation of events.