The Latest: Cost of free speech isn’t cheap at UC Berkeley
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a speech by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro at the University of California, Berkeley (all times local):
There is a price to pay for free speech.
It cost the University of California, Berkeley an estimated $600,000 to put the campus on virtual lockdown as conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke Thursday night.
Campus spokesman Dan Mogulof says the university spent another $600,000 in April to secure the campus during the planned visit of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, which was ultimately canceled.
An additional $200,000 was spent on security in February for an event involving former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos that was called off at the last minute when left-wing anarchists rioted outside.
Mogulof said the largest costs for Shapiro’s event stemmed from travel, room, board and overtime for reinforcements that came from all 10 UC campuses and regional law enforcement agencies and overtime for UC Berkeley security and staff.
City police said nine people were arrested mainly for having banned items. There were no injuries or property damage.
Hundreds of police officers and a campus on virtual lockdown accomplished the University of California, Berkeley administration’s goal of allowing a conservative to speak at the famously liberal university without violence.
City police said Friday that officers arrested nine people mainly for having banned items but that there were no injuries or property damage.
University Police Chief Margo Bennett says the crowd in the street was loud but not violent.
Protesters also voiced their displeasure over the Thursday night speech by former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro.
The event was being seen as a test run for later in the month, when right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos plans to host a “Free Speech Week.”
UC officials estimated the cost of all the security at as much as $600,000.