SAN FRANCISCO – The University of California, Berkeley have almost $4 million on the security of a month of the free speech events of last year, when the famous liberal campus became a flashpoint for the country and political division.
The university, revealed in the documents that it brought in $3.9 million in to bring out the police, you pay their room, board and overtime, ambulances on standby, rent barricades, and pay the cost of monitoring for three events scheduled from Aug. 27 to Sept. 27.
The university split the cost with the office of UC President Janet Napolitano, who oversees the 10 campuses of the UC, for what both described as unprecedented safety conditions.
The figure was first reported on Sunday by The Daily Californian after UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ referred to in the charges in a speech.
“We would definitely prefer to spend these precious resources on our academic mission,” Christ said Monday in a statement from the university. “We are not, however, regret having taken the steps that are clearly necessary for the support of our associated commitment to the free expression and the safety of our campus community.”
Several news organizations, including The Associated Press, requested a calculation of the cost of last year, but the university is not responding. Christ is called the total cost in a speech last week, in which the newspaper to make the request again.
UC Berkeley’s reputation as a liberal bastion and the birthplace of the 1960s Free Speech Movement, the campus and the city of Berkeley a rallying point for extremist groups from the left – and right-wing after President Donald Trump’s election.
Various political demonstrations turned violent, starting with a February 2017 event, which was organised by right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos. It was eventually cancelled rioters burn and destroy of campus windows ahead of his scheduled speech.
After those riots, the university increases the safety for other politically charged events.
UC Berkeley spent $190,404 on the cost of monitoring for a Aug. 27 counter protest billed as the “Rally Against Hate” to oppose a smaller gathering of right-wing protesters on Aug. 27 in a Berkeley park. In the black-clad anarchists stormed the largely peaceful demonstration and attacked at least five persons.
Charges in connection with a Sept. 14 appearance by conservative speaker Ben Shapiro charges $836,421. Unprecedented security measures that put the campus on a virtual lock by sealing off campus buildings and nearby parking lots, which critics called ‘overkill’, but the university defended to be effective, since no one was injured.
The most expensive event was a Sept. 24-27 event with the name of “Free Speech Week, organised by Yiannopoulos who said that he was planning to return to the university of Berkeley with a line-up of high-profile conservatives. Eventually the event was cancelled, but the university nearly $2.9 million on security.
The bulk of the cost paid for the enforcement of the law a back-up called in from the other campuses of the UC and state and regional law enforcement agencies, said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof.