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Riots break out at UC Berkeley

Quinn Cunningham

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Protests on the UC Berkeley campus quickly turned into violent riots a few months ago after Berkeley College Republicans invited right-wing commentator, Milo Yiannopoulos, to speak on campus. As a mostly liberal university, many students vehemently disagree with Yiannopoulos and believe that he is spreading hate. These students took to the campus streets to protest the speech. That night what started as a peaceful protest spiraled into a uncontrollable and violent situation.

According to a CNN report, the university stated that 150 masked agitators -not affiliated with the university- lit fires, smashed windows, and threw Molotov cocktails to stop Yiannopoulos from speaking. The group ultimately achieved their goal and the event was cancelled by the university. In doing so $100,000 of damage was dealt to the campus along with six reported injuries. This of course sprung up the conversation of free speech on college campuses.

In any debate or conflict there is always nuances and qualifications that make the issue complex. However, in the case of free speech-especially on college campuses-the solution is rather straight forward. I agree with the protestors that Yiannaopoulos is a loathsome person who promotes an unempathetic and unproductive point of view; on the contrary, silencing bad ideas in a public format is not an effective way to counter incorrect ideologies. The most effective way to combat bad ideas is to give them a platform to be exposed. The arguments and ideas will then be judged on their own merit with logic and reason.

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Quinn Cunningham, News Editor

Senior Quinn Cunningham is a news editor and has served on staff since 2017.

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Riots break out at UC Berkeley