President Donald Trump issued a social media threat early Thursday to federal funds allocated to the University of California-Berkeley in the aftermath of a riot that forced the cancellation of a speech by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
Meanwhile, Yiannopoulos told Fox News Thursday that the protest, which escalated into vandals breaking windows and looting storefronts, was “heavily ironic and very, I think, self-defeating for the social justice left.”
UC Berkeley officials said the protest was infiltrated by a group of about 100 vandals who were not students at the university.
“UC Berkeley condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of individuals who invaded the campus, infiltrated a crowd of peaceful students, and used violent tactics to close down the event. We deeply regret that the violence unleashed by this group undermined the First Amendment rights of the speaker as well as those who came to lawfully assemble and protest his presence,” university spokesman Dan Mogulof responded.
Yiannopoulos was making the last stop of a tour aimed at defying what he calls an epidemic of political correctness on college campuses. On Wednesday, he spoke with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
“No one’s safety is at risk from different opinions,” Yiannopoulos said in a phone interivew. “No one’s physical safety is endangered by political ideas from a speaker on campus, but universities have sort of allowed this stuff to happen, and even in some cases encouraged it.”
Protesters armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by Yiannopoulos Wednesday night.
Several injuries were reported and at least four banks were vandalized after demonstrators marched away from the scene of a violent protest at the canceled speaking event by controversial far-right writer and speaker Yiannopoulos on the University of California at Berkeley campus.
As the gathered crowd got more agitated, masked “black bloc” activists began hurling projectiles including bricks, lit fireworks and rocks at the building and police.
Yiannopoulos,32, is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a self-proclaimed internet troll. He was banned from Twitter after leading a harassment campaign against “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.
His visit to Berkeley was sponsored by the campus Republican club. The university has stressed it did not invite Yiannopoulos and does not endorse his ideas but is committed to free speech and rejected calls to cancel the event.