Tags: uc berkeley | faculty | urge | boycott | conservative | speakers

UC Berkeley Faculty Urge Boycott of Conservative Speakers

Image: UC Berkeley Faculty Urge Boycott of Conservative Speakers
(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

By    |   Monday, 18 September 2017 02:40 PM

Faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley wrote an open letter calling for a campuswide boycott during "Free Speech Week," SFGate.com reports.

"While there has still not been an official announcement from campus administrators, we are learning that from September 24th to 27th, the University of California at Berkeley will provide a platform to Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Stephen K. Bannon, Breitbart media and their far right audience," the 177 professors and graduate students wrote.

Citing the violence that's broken out at recent events, and reports that point "towards an escalated and uncontrollable confrontation both on and off campus during these four days," the writers call for Berkeley to cancel classes, close its buildings and to "not penalize students who are afraid to come to campus" those days.

"Therefore, as faculty committed to the safety of our students and our campus, we are calling for a complete boycott of all classes and campus activities while these Alt-Right events are taking place at the very center of UC Berkeley's campus," they wrote.

"As faculty we cannot ask students and staff to choose between risking their physical and mental safety in order to attend class or come to work in an environment of harassment, intimidation, violence, and militarized policing."

The faculty members add that they are concerned about cyberbullying and harassment, writing that "Online threats are real threats, and if we allow this intolerant and bullying version of free speech to take over our campus, then it can only but come at the expense of the free speech rights of the Berkeley community as a whole."

"We recognize that as a public institution, we are legally bound by the Constitution to allow all viewpoints on campus," they continue. "However, there are forms of speech that are not protected under the First Amendment. These include speech that presents imminent physical danger and speech that disrupts the university's mission to educate. Milo, Coulter and Bannon do not come to educate; they and their followers come to humiliate and incite. If the administration insists upon allowing the Alt-Right to occupy the center of our campus for four days to harass, threaten and intimidate us, as they did during Milo's visit in February, then faculty cannot teach, staff cannot work and students cannot learn."

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Faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley wrote an open letter calling for a campuswide boycott during "Free Speech Week," SFGate.com reports.
uc berkeley, faculty, urge, boycott, conservative, speakers
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2017-40-18
Monday, 18 September 2017 02:40 PM
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