The Free Speech Movement has come full circle. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was slated to speak at the University of California, Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza on April 26th, but has been silenced over pervasive fears of violent protests and rioting. The school, in a pathetic attempt to save face, had urged Ms. Coulter to reschedule her speech for a later date...which would have been after most students had left campus on summer break.
Coulter originally planned to speak on the 26th anyway, bringing her own security, until two “conservative” groups sponsoring her succumbed to pressure from university officials and withdrew their support. (Not their finest hour). That Coulter has been prevented from speaking here, under threat of violence, is made strikingly ironic given that Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza was the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, a student protest which took place during the 1964-65 academic year. At the time, these protests were unprecedented in scope, led by liberal students who insisted that the university’s administration lift its ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge their right to free speech and academic freedom.
A surviving photograph from those protests shows students occupying the balconies of Sproul Hall, holding up Free Speech Movement (FSM) banners…and an American flag.
Just 50 years later, well within one person’s lifespan, today’s students engage in violent protests to deny others their right to free speech, occasionally while burning an American flag. This should make clear the veracity of President Reagan’s assertion that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States, where men were free.”
The American founders were actual, classical liberals, who sought to protect people’s natural rights from being denied by others/governments. Conversely, these pseudo-liberals, these self-proclaimed “progressives” who currently hold our campuses hostage, are nothing more than fascists in frippery, despots in drag, who demand that government institutions aid and abet them in attempting to abolish the rights of those with whom they disagree.