ACLU defends Coulter: ‘We must protect speech’

The American Civil Liberties Union defended Ann Coulter Wednesday after the conservative pundit cancelled a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, citing security concerns.

Coulter announced earlier Wednesday that she would no longer appear at Berkeley after conservative group sponsoring her remarks withdrew their support.

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“There will be no speech,” she told Reuters. “I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team.”

“It’s a sad day for free speech,” Coulter told The New York Times. “Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away.”

Young America’s Foundation, the group that had sponsored Coulter’s planned speech Thursday, said, “Berkeley made it impossible to hold a lecture due to the lack of assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators."

“Berkeley should be ashamed for creating this hostile atmosphere,” the group added in a statement, noting the school police’s “stand-down” policy.

The Berkeley College Republicans, another sponsor of Coulter’s visit, also reportedly voiced fears about the event’s atmosphere.

Officials at Berkeley initially cancelled her planned speech last week, citing dangers over protesters.

The decision followed massive protests that erupted at the school in February, when the same GOP college group invited far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

Coulter vowed to speak, however, leading the school to reverse its decision and offer a day in May as a potential alternative date.

The conservative firebrand rejected that, calling it “not a suitable offer” as it fell during the school’s final exams period for students.