US President Donald Trump has threaten to yank federal funding of the University of California in Berkeley after a violent protest at the university canceled a speech of Breitbart News’ editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the student union.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump lashed out at the University of California in Berkeley, writing on his Twitter that federal funding of the university, which “does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view,” may be yanked. The statement was made after hundreds of protesters smashed windows, set fires and clashed with police at the UC Berkley on Wednesday night in order not to allow Breitbart News’ editor Milo Yiannopoulos to give a speech at the student union.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
According to footage from news outlets, metal barricades and rocks were tossed through windows of the liberal-leaning institution by protesters, as well as a light generator was set on fire near the entrance.
Just toppled a light pole. Craziest protest I’ve seen in Berkeley by far. Crowd fast turning violent. pic.twitter.com/5ujFLOtA4u
— Michael Bodley (@michael_bodley) February 2, 2017
As the SFGate news website reported, police ordered protesters to disperse, however, they did not obey and started to toss fireworks and bricks at policemen, who wore riot gear. Police decided to use rubber pellets against the crowd.
“We shut down the event. It was great. Mission accomplished,” one of the protesters told CNN.
Later, protesters marched along streets near the campus, where they clashed with police, smashing storefront windows and cars’ windshields.
According to a statement of the university, about 1,500 people took part in the protest, some 150 of them were “masked agitators,” who were responsible for the violence during the event, which should have been peaceful. The university also noted that it “is proud of its history and legacy as home of the Free Speech Movement” in the 1960s.
As Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who earlier headed Breitbart News, noted, many of the protesters voiced opposition to the Republican president. One of them held a sign that said “No Safe Space for Racists.”
Last year, Twitter account of Yiannopoulos was suspended, as he was accused of participating in the online harassment of an African-American actress. The Breitbart News editor criticized ‘the Left’, saying that it was “absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”
According to Yiannopoulos, police evacuated him after protesters began throwing rocks and other objects at the building.
“Obviously it’s a liberal campus so they hate any libertarians or conservatives who dare to express an opinion on their campuses,” Yiannopoulos told the Fox News TV-channel. “They particularly don’t like me.”