Milo Yiannopoulos is set to launch “Free Speech Week” at UC Berkeley on September 24th. The four-day event which has been dubbed the right-wing Woodstock includes speakers like Ann Coulter, Steve Bannon, and David Horowitz — all which have made administrators worry.
The university has made life as complicated as possible for Yiannopoulos and the student group sponsoring him, the Berkeley Patriots.
In a statement released on Monday, Yiannopoulos said that the school’s administration has been working on overdrive to disrupt the event and dissuade speakers from attending. The school gave the student group last minute deadlines and have not guaranteed access to Wheeler Hall and the Zellerbach auditorium despite spending months negotiating the locations.
Students belonging to the Berkeley Patriots tried for weeks through email, phone calls, and personal visits to ask administrators questions regarding what would happen if violent leftists stopped the event. All attempts to contact them were ignored and on occasion, administrators would even run away from student groups.
“On the advice of our attorney, we had asked the University to amend the contracts for Wheeler and Zellerbach to provide for a partial refund if the University canceled the event,” a member of the Berkeley Patriot familiar with the situation said in the press statement. “Given the University’s history of canceling conservative events, this was an entirely reasonable request, but they evaded our question for weeks.”
“When the University’s Interim Vice Chancellor finally did email us a contract at 3:30 PM ET last Friday, the contract lacked the refund provision entirely. Instead, it came with a 90-minute deadline that we had to sign and pay $65,000 that day,” he continued. “We signed and returned it immediately, but the Interim Vice Chancellor refused to accept it anyway.”
The students were not able to reach Yiannopoulos in time for his company to transfer the $65,758.76 to UC Berkeley, but it did arrive the following Monday morning.
Steve Sutton, the University’s Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, responded by blaming the students for not getting the paperwork and money in on time. However, the Berkeley Patriots are stating that that’s a lie.
“It’s quite simple: The University didn’t want the event to happen, but they couldn’t cancel outright, so they needed to make it look like it was our own fault,” said Pranav Jandhyala, News Editor for the Berkeley Patriot. “What we’ve experienced throughout this entire four months has been bureaucratic stonewalling.”
Yiannopoulos released a video detailing the entire ordeal.
Watch Yiannopoulos’ video below: