There’s been a flurry of activity in recent days as Berkeley tries to prepare for “Free Speech Week” at Cal. Saturday morning, students said they were pulling out of the event due to safety concerns. Milo Yiannopoulos shared an update Saturday in what he called “an emergency Facebook Live press conference” around noon.
Yiannopoulos had planned to hold an official press conference on Treasure Island at 2 p.m. but canceled it abruptly Saturday morning.
In the live event, where he appeared alongside anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller and right-wing pundit Mike Cernovich, Yiannopoulos said he would continue with the events “with or without student help.” The three speakers plan to appear at Sproul Plaza at noon Sunday, along with Lauren Southern, Lisa De Pasquale, SABO and others, according to Yiannopoulos. He did not indicate whether there would be events during the following days.
In his live statement, Yiannopoulos referred to UC Berkeley administrators as “masters at bureaucratic dirty-dealing,” placing the blame on them for the crumbling of what was meant to be a week-long “festival” on campus sponsored by Cal students. He denied allegations that he had always wanted the event to be called off. Those suspicions arose when several announced speakers said they never agreed to participate, and when the student group and Yiannopoulos failed to meet university deadlines related to event planning.
Yiannopoulos also said he provided UC Berkeley with a $65,000 deposit for “Free Speech Week.” Campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said the money would be returned.
This story was updated after the live video stream aired.