— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 2, 2017
Protests at UC Berkeley have forced the cancelation of another appearance by Breitbart troll Milo Yiannopoulos. This is the second cancellation following an earlier appearance at UC Davis alongside Martin Shkreli that faced a similar fate in January. Campus police clashed with protestors after violence broke out, reportedly shooting rubber bullets and attempting to force the crowd to disperse. The anti-fascist protestors responded by hiding behind makeshift shields, launching fireworks at the building where Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak, and lighting a bonfire outside.
The use of fireworks and smoke bombs prompted the campus police to place all university buildings on lockdown. Yiannopoulos had been escorted off the campus at this point, but sent a message to his Facebook followers addressing the cancellation according to NBC News:
Taking to Facebook soon after being escorted from UC Berkeley, Yiannopoulos said, “I have been 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.”
The 32-year-old said he and his team members were safe, and promised followers more information as it became available.
“One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down,” he said.
Reporters on the scene shared images of chaos on social media as it unfolded. Protestors dressed in black can be seen dragging barriers used to keep the crowds away from the building and shooting fireworks at the police dressed in riot gear:
Shane Bauer with Mother Jones has been updating the situation in real time on his Twitter feed, reporting that police were preparing to use batons and tear gas to clear demonstrators from the area.