After mixed signals on whether U.C. Berkeley would support Ben Shapiro’s appearance on campus, the university has pledged to pay and secure a venue for the right-wing pundit, whose September address there will mark another chapter in the college’s free speech wars.
“This event is going to happen. We just need to sit down with the College Republicans to talk through the details,” said Berkeley spokesman Daniel Mogulof, talking to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He added: “Because of the extent of our commitment to free speech, the campus will help fund any fees associated with hosting this event if need be.”
Shapiro, invited to Berkeley by the campus Republicans in a talk sponsored by the Young Americans Foundation, has been met with protest and disruption while speaking at some universities. Berkeley in particular has struggled to guarantee the right to speak to conservatives, with violent “antifa” protesters rioting at a post-election Milo Yiannopoulos speech there. There had been questions about whether the Berkeley administration would give Shapiro access an auditorium adequate to accommodate his crowd.