Group supporting Ann Coulter speech at UC Berkeley pulls out of event

One of the groups that invited conservative speaker Ann Coulter to UC Berkeley said Tuesday that it will not participate in her scheduled appearance because of a concern over violence.

In a statement posted to their website, the group said it was pulling out of the event.

Young America’s Foundation will not be moving forward with an event at Berkeley on April 27 due to the lack of assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators," the group's statement said.

"Ms. Coulter may still choose to speak in some form on campus, but Young America’s Foundation will not jeopardize the safety of its staff or students," the group's statement said.

Young America's Foundation, BridgeCal and Berkeley College Republicans had invited Coulter to campus to speak on April 27.

Berkeley College Republicans said Coulter's speech was set for 2 p.m. Thursday at Sproul Plaza.

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But Berkeley administrators canceled the event, saying the school was unable to secure a suitable and safe venue for the speech. School administrators said campus police had received credible evidence that outsiders would try to disrupt the Coulter speech.

This comes after Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and student affairs Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton wrote to the Berkeley College Republicans last week saying, "We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue for your planned April 27th event featuring Ann Coulter. We therefore must now work together to reschedule her appearance for a later date."

Coulter is now at the center of a civil rights lawsuit filed this week against the school by students who say the school is violating their right to free speech by canceling the conservative pundit's speaking event on campus this week.

A legal team led by Harmeet Dhillon, a San Francisco attorney who is also a prominent California Republican, filed the case on behalf of the Berkeley College Republicans, who invited Coulter, and the Young America's Foundation, which is helping to organize and finance the event.

The lawsuit accuses the university of trying "to restrict and stifle the speech of conservative students whose voices fall beyond the campus political orthodoxy."

The university backtracked on its original decision to cancel the event and offered an alternate date, but Coulter has insisted that she plans to still come April 27.

Coulter is not a plaintiff on the lawsuit. But she voiced support for it on Twitter, posting Monday that the lawsuit "demands appropriate & safe venue for my speech THIS THURSDAY."

The university's attempt to call off the event came after a series of violent clashes this year on campus and in downtown Berkeley between far-right and far-left protesters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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