Milo Yiannopoulos protest turns violent with fires, Molotov cocktails, Edward Kuo arrested
A speaking engagement by Breitbart editor and commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled Wednesday at the University of California, Berkeley, as the protest turned violent with 150 “masked agitators” turning up with fireworks and Molotov cocktails, throwing some at police.
In a statement, the university said: “The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest.”
It said that at the time more than 1,500 protesters were gathered outside the event.
“This was a group of agitators who were masked up, throwing rocks, commercial grade fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers,” UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennet told The Associated Press. Police put the campus on lock down for several hours. There were no reports of arrests or serious injuries, according to the AP.
Edward Thomas Kuo, 19, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of remaining “in the place of a riot,” according to UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich.
The two suspects, Devonte Gaskin and Sean Seuss, were arrested and booked to Berkeley Jail, Reich said. According to Reich, Gaskin, 28, is an Oakland resident and Seuss, 27, is a San Francisco resident. Neither Gaskin nor Seuss have an apparent affiliation with the campus.
“We had given a dispersal order,” Reich alleged. “He remained in the area and was blocking the path of the police, who were trying to move a skirmish line along.”
Kuo is not affiliated with the campus, Reich said.
On Twitter Thursday morning, President Trump questioned future federal funding for the school, saying it “does not allow free speech.”
The university said that while “Yiannopoulos’ views, tactics and rhetoric are profoundly contrary to those of the campus,” it is committed to the “enabling of free expression across the full spectrum of opinion and perspective.”
Protesters marched down the street with banners reading, “Become Ungovernable” and “This Is War.”
According to the university, the talk was canceled and Yiannopoulos was “escorted from the building and left campus” about two hours before the planned start time of 8 p.m.
In an interview with Fox News afterward, Yiannopoulos blamed the violence on “the left that is terrified of anyone who they think might be persuasive or might be interesting or might take people with them.” He continued:
“You know, I am not a scary far-right, you know, kind of neo-Nazi as some of the posters claim. They put those things on posters to try to legitimize their own violence against me and against my supporters. Instead, I’m just sort of libertarian, gay, Trump-supporting provocateur who likes to, you know, present interesting arguments. … [The left] just cannot tolerate anyone popular on campus who does not subscribe to their own crazy views.”