BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - U.C. Berkeley officials say there were about 1,500 people taking part in a demonstration to voice opposition to the Yiannopolis event, but it was a small group of about 150 people who caused trouble.
There was major destruction and damage both on campus and downtown.
UC Berkeley Student Body President William Mora tells KTVU he's disappointed with how the protest played out. "It's disappointing to see that a powerful, peaceful demonstration organized by students was co-opted by individuals with no relation to this campus. So they would have the audacity to come on to this campus. This campus is the home of free speech," he said.
Naweed Tahmas with the Berkeley College Republicans spoke with KTVU saying both Yiannopolis and police did not feel safe so the event was canceled.
Tahmas said the Berkeley College Republicans paid a lot of money for the event and security for the event along with an anonymous donor. He said if Yiannopolis wants to come back, they would love to have him. He says there are security concerns that could be addressed differently next time.
Tahmas said he was with Yionnopolis as the protest was underway, "They (the protesters) were trying to burn us alive or something."
He says he didn't feel like police were doing that much "to protect us... so I'm very disappointed and frustrated as well." Tahmas also claims that he witnessed some Berkeley students acting violently in the protest. He said he believes professors incite "this kind of behavior and this kind of reaction by giving them false facts about Milo. Really angering them to the point that they're willing to commit these violent acts."
President Trump tweeted about the protest stating, "If UC Berkeley did not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - no federal funds?"
Tahmas said he was excited to see President Trump respond to the situation. "It made me very happy to know we have someone on our side. It's up to him whether he wants to do that. I agree there has to be some action taken to stop this kind of behavior. Silence on free speech or any speech that goes against the norm of Berkeley and their overtly PC culture," he said.
Tahmas said he's worried about going to class today. He said people shouted at him as he was followed home last night.