One person was injured and five others were arrested during a protest where at least 1,500 gathered outside an auditorium at UC Berkeley on Wednesday, where conservative pundit Ann Coulter was giving a speech titled “Adios, America.”
Police put up a large water-filled barricade outside the event but some protestors formed human chains to physically block people from entering the venue, while other protestors yelled and screamed at those trying to enter the building.
A video posted on Twitter by Portland-based journalist Andy Ngo shows protestors blocking a woman from entering Wheeler Hall, and one of them pretends to be with the event organizers to steal the woman’s ticket.
Despite the challenges, hundreds of people made it inside to hear Coulter’s speech, the event organizers, Berkeley College Republicans, said.
“We would like to thank all our attendees, especially those who got punched and kicked while waiting outside,” the conservative student group wrote on Twitter. “Your contribution to protecting free speech on campus is invaluable!”
Of those arrested, one was for battery on an officer and four were for resisting arrest, reported The Daily Californian, the university’s student newspaper. Three were cited and released at the scene, one was released from the Berkeley Police Department Jail Facility without charges, and another was bailed out of Berkeley City Jail on Thursday.
University Police Department Chief Margo Bennett said a man who had a ticket to the event “was victimized in the crowd” and transported to a hospital.
In 2017, Coulter cancelled a speech at the campus over safety concerns.
“I wish all college speeches could go back to what they used to be like,” Coulter told the Daily Caller before her Wednesday speech. “Liberals used to come, they’d have their little protest outside, and really you’d hurt my feelings if you weren’t protesting.”
“But then they’d come in, I’d give a quick speech and take question-and-answer all night,” she said. “They’re usually a lot of fun.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.