Free speech is necessary for democracy. Ideas are presented and discussed and with intelligent conversation and a fair media; the best idea is triumphant. Free speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment. Throughout history, the groups who have held back free speech have been the most destructive, authoritative ideologies of history.
University of Southern California Berkeley has been the center of the battle for free speech for many years. In 1965, students formed a movement that was in favor of free speech and against the University controlling which political activities could take place. The leader of the free speech movement, Mario Savio, is still remembered today, with a statue and an area dedicated to him. Through his and the students’ persistence with peaceful protest and communal conversation, the University administration was swayed to allow free speech.
Berkeley has since become a stronghold of the left, but free speech has now become a threat to the left’s globalist ideals. Without free speech, lies are easy to spread and the masses are easy to control. The left has also been able to weaponize its students by name calling any non-left-leaning person a “fascist,” a term that they don’t understand and redefine as they see necessary. The use violence to suppress ideas that don’t fit perfectly with their own. Groups of these leftists who call themselves “anti-fascists,” or “Antifa,” have been leaders in the acts of senseless violence committed against defenseless people who happen to be near their riots. When it comes to riots, Berkeley police do not intervene. Jesse Arreguin, the mayor of Berkeley is associated with Antifa activity. The orders for police to stand down hurt the Trump supporters who were promised police protection during many events, although these Antifa rioters were defeated on April 15th. The University claims to protect free speech but never acts to protect those with ideological differences from the left who wish to exercise that right.
The university allowed rioters to incur more than $100,000 worth of damage during the riot when the “dangerous faggot” Milo Yiannopoulos’ attempted to speak on campus. It was the cost they were willing pay to intimidate their opposition and shut down speakers with whom they disagree. Now Berkeley claims that they can cancel any Republican speaker out of fears of violence. It has happened again to Ann Coulter. The morning of the event on April 19th, the University cancelled on her. Coulter plans to speak regardless and has already hired Academi, a private military company, to protect her.
It is certainly a sad sight to see the former birthplace of the Free Speech movement turn against that very ideal in such a violent and destructive way. All we can hope for is the eventual return to a free and peaceful exchange of ideas, but it doesn’t look like it is happening any time soon.