Later this month, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro will be landing at Berkeley, an event which is apparently being treated by the locals as some sort of Category Five Speechstorm. We already learned that the school is offering special counseling sessions for traumatized locals, and security concerns “forced them” to initially only sell half the tickets for the auditorium where Ben will be speaking.
But you can’t be too careful in the face of a natural disaster like someone showing to, er… talk. Inside of a venue where only people who are willing to pay for tickets will be able to hear him. With all of those concerns in mind, the LA Times reports that even more security precautions are being put in place. They’re even titling their piece using the phrase, “Berkeley Braces For” Shapiro. And may I just say, thank God for that. For all we know, in addition to saying words, Shapiro may even be planning to use hand gestures or some sort of multi-media presentation. And I’m pretty sure Berkeley is close to a fault line. We can only hope there are a few survivors left to tell the tale.
Girding itself for a visit from another polarizing political figure and the possibility of more violent protests, UC Berkeley is tightening campus security.
In a message sent earlier this week, Provost Paul Alivisatos said the university was taking precautions in advance of the Sept. 14 visit by conservative political commentator and former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro. There will be a “closed perimeter” around the building where Shapiro is scheduled to speak, and an “increased and highly visible police presence.”
A number of university buildings near Zellerbach Hall, the event’s location, will be closed that afternoon. In order to pass through security barriers, people will have to show tickets for the speech.
You’ll note that in the very first paragraph they’re talking about fears of the possibility of “more violent protests.” That’s an exceptionally valid concern since we’re talking about Berkeley but it has nothing to do with conservatives. As far as I know, Ben isn’t planning on beating anyone up and the College Republicans seem to mostly want to just get into the auditorium and hear him.
But you know who they do need to worry about? As John Sexton recently reported, violent Antifa rioters are extremely well organized in that area, handing out schedules, lists of possible targets and attack strategies. Some of them seem to enjoy describing themselves as “Nazi hunters,” which is hilarious considering that Shapiro is Jewish.
I reached out to Ben for comment on this story and he offered the following brief observation.
I am quite physically intimidating, but I’m pretty sure the issue is intolerant Leftists attempting to shut down dissenters with force. It’s always very provocative to give speeches about why violence in politics isn’t permitted, and why Antifa and the alt-right suck.
I realize I’ve employed more than my daily quota of snark in this single article, but any humor involved is of a decidedly dark nature. Stop and think about this for a moment. There are bands of masked, black-clad people threatening to show up and attack anyone with the wrong sorts of ideas. The police are on high alert. The school is clearly within hours of announcing that they’ll be setting up literal fainting couches.
And for what? Because one 33 year old author is showing up at a college campus to give a speech. Traditionally, the idea of a guest speaker delivering comments to college students was about as shocking as the sun rising in the east. But now it’s verging on an unnatural disaster. Just how badly have the wheels come off in our society, particularly on the nation’s college campuses? This is no longer a subject for amusement. It’s a tragedy.