Berkeley College Republicans cry foul over blocked Ben Shapiro speech

UC Berkeley officials now say a conservative speaker invited by Berkeley College Republicans will now be able to speak on campus. 

The University initially denied the request to allow Ben Shapiro to speak to a group of 500 students on September 14, but has backtracked, saying as long as the group works with school officials it's okay. 

The republican student group was initially upset the university denied their request to have Shapiro, come to campus.

Shapiro is a former editor with the Breitbart website. He now runs another conservative website and has a radio show where he weighs in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A member of the Berkeley College Republicans said they were pleased the University was allowing Shapiro to speak, but believes they will impose restrictions. 

University officials had initially said they didn't have a venue to accommodate a crowd of that size on that particular day. UC Berkeley employee Karen Lamarsh told KTVU on Thursday that the school should do whatever it needs to "to keep students safe. That's what we have to do."

Instead, the university offered to meet with College Republicans to find another time and place to host  Shapiro.

But Berkeley College Republicans and another conservative organization called the Young America’s Foundation cried foul. They believe it's been a back-handed way for the university to prevent controversial right wing speakers from appearing on campus.

In February, riots broke out when right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos came to the UC Berkeley campus his speech was called off at the last minute because of the violence.

And a couple months after that, conservative commentator Ann Coulter cancelled her speech at Cal because of a conflict with administrators over where and when her event could take place.

Some on campus said they understand it's a complicated situation but they're getting tired of all the back-and-forth.

“There’s a value to having opposing viewpoints. But you have to be careful who you bring in,”  Hal Schwimmer told KTVU on Thursday, especially if the “only goal is to agitate.”

College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation sued the university over the canceled Coulter speech.

After that controversy the university announced it was creating a new policy for all campus groups that want bring speakers in requiring them to give the university eight weeks notice when a speaker is supposed to come on campus.

And in some cases, if extra security is needed, the student groups would have to meet with UC police six weeks before the event.