Violent protest nixes campus talk by Breitbart editor

Milo Yiannopoulos speaks on campus in the Mathematics building at the University of Colorado in Boulder Colo. Yiannopoulos the polarizing Breitbart News editor has gained notoriety for railing against feminists

At about 6:20 p.m., UC campus police announced that the event had been cancelled.

Wednesday night's lecture by Yiannopoulos at the university was cancelled after violent protests against the talk broke out.

Rioters reportedly used firecrackers, smashed windows, and assaulted several attendees with weapons.

Breitbart's former chairman Steve Bannon is now White House chief strategist after stepping down to become CEO of Trump's presidential campaign.

So ... canceling a speech for safety reasons is opposition to free speech?

The multiple-promotion MMA champion claimed to have helped a "guy being jumped by thugs" at the protest. Yiannopoulos was invited to campus by the student organization Young Republicans that had sold out the event, selling 500 tickets.

"The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest", UC Berkeley said in a statement. Officials said, "it was impossible to maintain order given the level of threat, disruption and organized violence".

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education released a statement on the riots late Wednesday evening: "FIRE condemns both violence and attempts to silence protected expression in the strongest terms".

"I'm disappointed, because since the 60's, UC Berkeley was an arbiter of the free speech movement, and even if it's a conservative opinion, schools should be allowing speech of all kinds".

Protesters could be seen throwing fireworks at police and at the student union center on campus, according to CNN.

Berkeley protest organizer Ronald Cruz earlier told NBC Bay Area that demonstrations would be held to oppose what he characterized as hateful rhetoric.

Should UC Berkeley have allowed the Milo Yiannopoulos event to take place, regardless of the violence occurring outside of the building, or did the administrators make the right call in stopping the violent behavior and removing the cause?

Hundreds of peaceful protesters demonstrated for hours before the event, some with signs that read "Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech", The Associated Press reported.

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