BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – “Free Speech Week” at UC Berkeley is just days away and it’s still unclear who all will be speaking on campus.
Now, the student group organizing the event is claiming discrimination and calling for the Department of Justice to step in.
The complaint, from attorneys representing the Berkeley Patriot group says “The situation at UC Berkeley has become downright physically dangerous the past year for conservative students.”
Additionally, the complaint urges the Department of Justice to “open an investigation into whether UC Berkeley and its key administrators are systematically and intentionally violating civil rights of our clients.”
“People are saying that we’ve been treating this particular student group differently. They’re right.” said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. “Because not in anyone’s recent memory have so many people spent so much time trying to support a small student group in holding successful events.”
Mogulof wouldn’t comment on the complaint, which he said he hasn’t seen, but he said the university has tried to work with the Berkeley Patriot only to have the group miss deadlines and fail to provide a full list of speakers.
On Facebook, ultra-conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos has promoted an appearance by Steve Bannon.
In a text message Wednesday night, one of the event organizers told us “[Ann] Coulter, [Steve] Bannon and Milo [Yiannopoulos] are confirmed on our end.”
But the group has provided no proof so far.
“We’ve asked them, can you show us an email from these speakers, a signed contract, anything that would give us some confidence that they’re actually coming and to date, they’ve been unable to do that for all but five speakers,” Mogulof said.
Mogulof says it’s a far cry from last week’s speech by conservative pundit Ben Shapiro which he says was peaceful because the organizers communicated openly with the administration, ensuring security was tight.
“The campus is proceeding all the same,” Mogulof said. “We can’t be slowed down. Too much is at stake in terms of the security of our community.”