The city of Berkeley and the university are preparing for a day off protest Thursday. Even though Ann Coulter isn't schedule to appear groups on both sides of the political spectrum say they will come to town to fight for their right to free speech.
Gavin McInnes is a right wing commentator who says once he heard Ann Coulter backed out. He decided he would take her place. On his twitter page he said, "The Ann Coulter event in Berkeley is not canceled. I will be speaking.....We will all be reading from her speech. It's happening with or without her." Right wing groups from all over that state say they too will be here to show their support. "We won't be shut down, because freedom of speech can't be shut down. Because if we back down then we have lost," says Bay Area Alt Right member John Ramondetta.
"We're still coming down to support that because it’s still free speech. I mean it’s not really about Ann Coulter as much as it was about the right wing having a voice," says Make Orange County Great Again member Johnny Benitez.
His group is hosting an Ann Coulter free speech event in Berkeley's Civic Center Park on Thursday.
The site of two violent protest earlier this year, the first back in March, and the most recent a week and a half ago. It was during that event that Benitez says he was attacked and knows it could happen again . "I'm aware that I will be in danger. The people that are going to show up tomorrow are going to be in danger. But the bigger danger is to allow the radical left wing to continue to erode away our civil liberties when they decide they don’t like our speech," says Benitez..
The city of Berkeley and the university are both on notice. "We're still planning forward with the potentiality of a riot like situation occurring in our community," says University of California Police Captain Alex Yao.
University police say there will be high presence of officers on campus from sun up through the late night on Thursday with very little tolerance for violence. The city agrees. "We look specifically for people who are committing criminal acts. We pursue them and we arrest them and we've made 30 arrest in the last two events," says Matthai Chakko, City of Berkeley Spokesman.
Still battle lines have been drawn with people on the opposing side say they too plan to show up. "I think this was just a great victory for the movement to have kept Coulter out of here. We are a sanctuary campus and that's what we are and we mean to keep it that way," says Hoku Jeffrey with By Any Means Necessary. People on both sides say they hope it doesn't come down to a dangerous violent clash but with two previous run-ins ending that way. They know there's a good chance it will happen again and both sides say they will do whatever is necessary to keep safe.