Protesters gather in Berkeley despite Free Speech Week being cancelled
BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos says he will not be silenced by UC Berkeley administrators.
Yiannopoulos did speak in front of a crowd, however he did not have any amplified sound due to the event not being sponsored. He left the area around 12:40 p.m. on his own accord. He signed autographs for some people in the crowd before leaving.
Only about 150 people were let inside the perimeter where Milo spoke. UC Police say two people arrested; one was arrested for using amplified sound and another for a stay-away order violation.
Officials say it cost $800,000 to provide security for today's protests.
Protesters have started to pour in near Cal's campus. It is unclear what groups the protesters are from, however it appears that those for and against Free Speech Week are present.
Protests are taking place near Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way in Berkeley, causing traffic congestion, and people are advised to avoid the area if possible, police said this morning.
Berkeley PD is preparing by setting up barricades and calling in support from other law enforcement agencies.
Yiannopoulos vows to speak at noon and will be joined by other conservatives who were scheduled to speak at Free Speech Week on Cal's campus.
The group that initially sponsored the event, The Berkeley Patriot, cancelled the event due to safety concerns.
Cal officials say Berkeley Patriot students did not sign the contracts and that an outside entity put out a release promoting the speakers, even though some, including former White House strategist Steve Bannon, never publicly announced they were coming.
Cal says it planned to spend $1 million on security for Free Speech Week. It is not clear how much will be spent even though the event was technically cancelled.