Violent protests broke out at University of California-Berkeley on Wednesday night, forcing conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos to be evacuated from the campus ahead of a planned speech.
Protesters were captured on video lighting fires, toppling light poles and setting off fireworks, apparently motivated by intense outrage over Yiannopoulos’ presence on campus. There were reports that police had to use non-lethal tactics in an attempt to get the unruly crowd under control.
— Alex Aldridge (@AlexAldridge20) February 2, 2017
Here protesters are ripping down a light pole:
They also removed barricades:
— ABC News (@ABC) February 2, 2017
There seemed to be plenty of anarchists among the demonstrators:
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 2, 2017
Yiannopoulos said in a statement on Facebook that he had to be evacuated from the UC-Berkeley campus after “violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building.”
“My team and I are safe. But the event has been cancelled. I'll let you know more when the facts become clear,” he added. “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”
— Dylan Flores (@SenBAnalyst) February 2, 2017
By ensuring Yiannopoulos, a controversial figure, couldn't give his planned speech, the protesters accomplished at least their short-term goal. However, Yiannopoulos told Fox News after evacuating that he believes the violent reaction shows that opponents of free speech are losing.