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‘Alt-Right’ Leader Promises Berkeley Speech After Ann Coulter Pulls Out

Right-wing commentator Ann Coulter pulled out of a controversial speech at the University of California, Berkeley, earlier this week after losing the backing of conservative groups that had sponsored her appearance — a move that disappointed those on the “alt-right” who saw it as a sign of weakness.

“It’s a sad day for free speech,” Coulter told The New York Times.

White nationalist leader Richard Spencer, who faced public opposition and a court battle before his appearance at Auburn University earlier this month, criticized the move.

“Is not a ‘sad day for free speech,’ Ann. It’s a sad day for ‘conservatives.’ Your movement is a collection of cowards,” he wrote on Twitter.

Spencer also vowed on Twitter that he “will absolutely go to #Berkeley within the next year,” adding, “never back down.”

Other “alt-right” online figures chimed in.

“Your surrender is all the more pathetic considering @RichardBSpencer won with fewer resources and less support at Auburn @AnnCoulter,” wrote blogger Mike Enoch, whose The Daily Shoah podcast popularized the triple parenthesis meme, known as “echoes,” used online to indicate Jews or perceived Jewish influence.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

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‘Alt-Right’ Leader Promises Berkeley Speech After Ann Coulter Pulls Out

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