On Wednesday, following Ann Coulter’s announcement that she had cancelled her speech at the University of California, Berkeley, the American Civil Liberties Union took to Twitter in defense of the conservative pundit.
The heckler’s veto of Coulter's Berkeley speech is a loss for the 1st Amendment. We must protect speech on campus, even when hateful.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) April 26, 2017
The official ACLU National account tweeted,
“The heckler’s veto of Coulter’s Berkeley speech is a loss for the 1st Amendment. We must protect speech on campus, even when it is hateful.”
Coulter’s announcement came earlier in the day on Wednesday after a conservative group that was sponsoring her speech withdrew their support.
Coulter explained to Reuters, “There will be no speech. I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team.”
She also told the New York Times,
“It’s a sad day for free speech. Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away.”
The group that had sponsored Coulter’s speech commented on the matter, saying,“Berkeley made it impossible to hold a lecture due to the lack of assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators.”
The group added, “Berkeley should be ashamed for creating this hostile atmosphere.”
In a similar vain, the Berkeley College Republicans group, another sponsor of Coulter’s speech, also reportedly expressed concerns about the safety of the event and it’s atmosphere.
In the end, officials at Berkeley canceled the event, citing security concerns over protesters.