University of California, Berkeley student Magaly Mercado holds a protest sign as attendees leave a speech by conservative commentator Ann Coulter on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Berkeley, Calif. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on campus as Coulter delivered a talk titled "Adios, America!" (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

5 arrested at rally against Ann Coulter speech in Berkeley

November 21, 2019 - 6:53 pm

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A person was injured, and five people were arrested during a demonstration by hundreds of protesters outside a University of California, Berkeley auditorium where conservative commentator Ann Coulter gave a speech, an official said Thursday.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 demonstrators chanted slogans outside the event, where police put up a large water-filled barricade. Some demonstrators harassed people trying to enter the building, yelling at them and pushing them.

Coulter tweeted “THANK YOU” on Thursday to the campus and city police who protected the venue.

A person who had a ticket to the event was injured after scuffling with a protester and taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure, said Dan Mogulof, a university spokesman.

“We don’t believe the injuries were serious,” he said.

UC Berkeley police arrested four people for not following officers’ orders and one for battery on an officer. Three are students of the university, Mogulof said.

Police said one of the two non-students was wearing a mask.

A woman in the audience who began yelling during Coulter’s Wednesday night speech titled “Adiós, America!” was handcuffed by security and taken out of the event, KPIX-TV reported. It wasn’t clear if the woman was one of the five who was arrested.

A scheduled appearance by Coulter didn't take place in 2017 in the wake of violence before a scheduled talk by another right-wing speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, when dozens of black-clad anarchists appeared among the crowd and attacked people. They later vandalized businesses near the campus.

A lawsuit accused the university of discriminating against conservative speakers. UC Berkeley has called the lawsuit’s accusation unsubstantiated.

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