Wednesday, April 26, 2017

UC-Berkeley Readies Police as Ann Coulter Plans to Speak in Public Plaza on Campus

This one is going to get crazy.

 Ann Coulter, a "disappointed" Trump supporter, plans to give a speech Thursday afternoon at a public plaza, Sproul Plaza, on the campus of UC-Berkeley.

Notes The Washington Post:
Sproul Plaza, site of the iconic Free Speech Movement protests in the 1960s, is both symbolic and logistically challenging for the university. On an open campus, anyone can flock to the plaza.

“If somebody brings weapons, there’s no way to block off the site – or to screen them,” Nicholas Dirks, UC-Berkeley’s chancellor, said Tuesday. For an event inside, the university would have metal detectors and other ways to search for weapons. Officials know that some of the demonstrators, such as those known as Black Bloc, know how to penetrate the crowd and use it as a shield, Dirks said. “In an open space you have almost no control over that,” he said. “The challenges are immense.”...
Pranav Jandhyala, who leads one of the two student groups that invited Coulter, said Tuesday that Coulter told him and other students that she plans to speak Thursday afternoon at Sproul Plaza.

Jandhyala said his student group has been trying frantically to find an off-campus venue for Thursday, and he said he shares the concerns of university officials that Coulter’s appearance at Sproul — and the protests and counter-protests it will likely spark — could grow violent. But he said that Coulter made clear in communication with him and other student organizers on Tuesday morning, that she intends to go through with her plan to appear at Sproul.

“We’re worried about it turning into a huge battle between her security and conservative militia and anti-fascists and others,” Jandhyala said. “To have that right in middle of Sproul doesn’t bode well for the image of our school or the city. We’re worried about violence and student safety and our own safety as well. It’s a huge safety concern.”
 On Monday Coulter retweeted a weather forecast with this comment: “Nice day for an outdoor speech at Berkeley.”

It should be noted that in libertarian theory, free speech is intertwined with private property. The owner of a property determines what can and can not be said on his property, But no speech approved by the owner can be shut down, according to libertarian theory as expounded by Murray Rothbard.

Public property is a kind of no man's land where government allegedly rules. But since government is an agent of theft and coercion, anyone who can grab land from government to speak is not breaking any libertarian law.

UC-Berkeley is a "public" university and by extension, its land is public land, which means no libertarian should object to Coulter speaking on the land, though what she says will surely be a mixed bag that will no doubt include hate for all immigrants, or even if they are hired by private businessmen and pay rent to private property owners.

She is apparently for free speech but not in favor of allowing all individuals who mind their own business by working hard and living a peaceful life.





  1. Rothbard uses Columbia University in this example of radical homesteading...

    He argues that students and faculty - actually mainly students - as the most qualified / most legitimate owners.

    Although he says "students", on a close reading maybe he really means those who actually pay tuition fees (parents?)

  2. She is apparently for free speech but not in favor of allowing all individuals who mind their own business by working hard and living a peaceful life.

    Free speech is not linked to the immigration issue.
    Why are you linking it ?

    Maybe you and others who think unlimited immigration = freedom should start to call yourselves what you are and that is an "Oligarchtarian".

    The great mass of people in the West would be more free without all this immigration.

    1. Don't you know that immigrants from left wing countries always come over here because they're really anarchocapitalists? They would never come here because of generous welfare benefits and then illegally vote in our elections for the same left wing policies that destroyed their own societies.

  3. Free speech and immigration are both instances of private property rights.

    In the former, the speaker as a self-owner has the right to use her vocal chords as she sees fit but, if on someone else's land, then subject to the rules imposed by the land owner, which is the exercise of his private property rights.

    Immigration involves people in the US having the freedom to physically and commercially associate with anyone of their choosing, meaning both the immigrant and the domestic person associating with him are exercising their self-ownership rights over their own bodies and their private property rights with respect to their land and money.

    The only reason immigration gets confusing is because the state claims ownership of land and citizens' income (taxes) and either allows immigrants to use these or prohibits this, without the actual owner of such land or income having the final word. So we ought to focus our ire at the state, not at immigrants or those domestically who wish to associate with them.

    1. Totally wrong. Since the state doesn't allow the creation of covenant societies that can discriminate, and also thieves from tax payers to fund immigrants, objection to state sponsored immigration is totally in line with the NAP. Basically the state screwed it up so badly that there is no position here that doesn't involve some violation of some rights.

    2. @Yossi:

      objection to state sponsored immigration is totally in line with the NAP.

      Straw man. No one is trying to push "state sponsored immigration". When you relocate across a state border, is that "state sponsored immigration"? No, it's just you moving. National borders should be treated the same as state borders.

      the state...also thieves from tax payers to fund immigrants

      Except that studies show that immigrants pay a higher percent of their income in taxes than many Americans do; see

      The state thieves from everyone, native and immigrant (legal or not) alike. Singling out immigrants for demonization is just nonsense.

    3. I think your numbers are wrong, and there are a lot of hidden costs they you are not counting, both social and financial. I for one, don't want to live next to a Pakistani tribe, complete with Shariah law. In any non central government situation, long ago the neighbors would have asserted their ownership over the commons in our town, and set a much higher bar for newcomers. Since we can't assert out property rights at the local level, the only remedy we have is to object immigration at the national level.

    4. Yossi, when the state prevents two people from associating with one another -- which is what it does when it puts up borders and decides who can and cannot cross -- then it is violating the NAP in several ways. First, it has robbed taxpayers to fund its operations. Second, it may have stolen the land used to set up the border and immigration control centers. Third, it is forcibly preventing A and B from exercising their self-ownership rights to associate (and, if they want to exchange property in a transaction, from exercising their property rights). Thus arguing for the state to have a role in controlling immigration is to argue for continued violation of the NAP.

      The state by its very existence is a series of violations of the NAP. A libertarian "open borders" position can simply be a position that says we object to the state having a role in forcing or prohibiting association and exchange. The libertarian can believe that only private property owners should make those decisions without necessarily implying any particular level or type of immigration.