On Wednesday night, protests at the University of California, Berkeley turned violent in response to a scheduled campus speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. As a result, the speech was cancelled and Yiannopoulos was evacuated from campus.
The use of mob violence to respond to constitutionally protected expression is an affront to our nation’s liberal traditions. And as so often happens, it has also proven deeply counterproductive, sabotaging its apparent aim. Instead of silencing Yiannopoulos, the violent response ensured that his message was broadcast nationwide.
The events at Berkeley should alarm citizens from across the political spectrum who hold dear the liberal values enshrined in the First Amendment. FIRE will continue to insist that the proper answer to speech you hate is more speech, and we stand with the vast majority of Americans who live according to this principle every day.