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.