UC Berkeley Students Chant "Black Lives, They Matter Here" In Protest Of Conservative Speaker Ben Shapiro
The University still let him speak though.
Racial tension in this country feels like something out of the 50s and 60s. How could it not with the 45 empowering white supremacists? Despite the efforts of many conservatives to get people to stop protesting things like inequality and racism, protesting continues to take place.
Yesterday, UC Berkeley students took to the campus streets to protest conservative speaker Ben Shapiro. Shapiro was the editor-at-large of the right-wing Breitbart News for 4 years before stepping down. He hosts an online political podcast called the Ben Shapiro Show, and he is also the editor in chief of the Daily Wire, a popular conservative website.
According to CNN, police stood in full riot gear, standing guard as the school took extensive security measures, shutting down surrounding buildings and setting up a large perimeter around the hall where Shapiro gave a speech and answered questions Thursday night.
Students took stance all over campus protesting through chanting, or by messages written in chalk.
Students who stayed behind in MLK center say they are occupying building. Talking via amplified iPhone pic.twitter.com/UFof8iEFOO— Berkeleyside (@berkeleyside) September 15, 2017
Ben Shapiro is reportedly an Orthodox Jew, and because of that, many believe he hides his racism behind it. The big argument here was about whether UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, could host different ideas, including conservative speakers, on its famously liberal campus. Shapiro’s appearance is only the beginning of right-wing speakers who may be making an appearance at the university over the next month. Speakers including former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, Yiannopoulos, and Ann Coulter are supposed to be on campus during a “Free Speech Week.”
Berkeley police said there were no reported injuries due to violence and no reports of any damage to property Thursday. However, nine people were arrested, four of them for carrying banned weapons.
What must be remembered is that free speech is not hate speech. You're free to say what you want, but people are free to not like it as well as call you out for it. If more conservative speakers are scheduled to come speak, these protests are only the beginning.