Milo Yiannopoulos responds to violent UC Berkeley protests

Byline: Matt Hoffman

The man at the center of Wednesday night's violent protests at UC Berkeley is speaking out. Milo Yiannopoulos is a right-wing commentator and Breitbart News editor, and the protests succeeded in derailing a speech he had been scheduled to make on campus.

Yiannopoulos issued a response via YouTube. He said, "...it turns out that the progressive left, the social justice left, the feminist, Black Lives Matter, antifa left, the hard left, which has become so utterly antithetical to free speech in the last few years, is taking a turn post-Trump's election where they simply will not allow any speaker on campus, even somebody as silly and harmless and gay as me, to have their voice heard..."

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A worker surveys the damage to a vandalized Starbucks after a student protest turned violent at UC Berkeley during a demonstration over right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who was forced to cancel his talk, in Berkeley, California, U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos take to the streets on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
A vandalized Bank of America office is seen after a student protest turned violent at UC Berkeley during a demonstration over right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who was forced to cancel his talk, in Berkeley, California, U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Police officers prepare to deploy a skirmish line after a student protest turned violent at UC Berkeley during a demonstration over right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who was forced to cancel his talk, in Berkeley, California, U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos burn trash and cardboard in the street on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: A protester is carried into a building by police officers during a protest on the UC Berkeley campus on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A speech by controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who was scheduled to speak at the university, was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos march in the street on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: Damage is seen to a Chase Bank branch following a protest on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A speech by controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley, was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: A protester smashes the window of a Target store on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A speech by controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley, was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
The inside of a Chase Bank is seen after being vandalised by protesters in Berkeley, California on February 1, 2017. Violent protests erupted on February 1 at the University of California at Berkeley over the scheduled appearance of a controversial editor of the conservative news website Breitbart. / AFP / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A man pulls a piece of metal out of a window as a flare burns inside a Wells Fargo Bank in Berkeley, California on February, 1, 2017. A speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled at the University of Berkeley was cancelled after demonstrators set fires and threw objects at buildings to protest his appearance. / AFP / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Yiannopoulos is a provocative speaker whose main theme seems to be attacking political correctness. He has called feminism "cancer," said that "America has a Muslim problem," and was banned from Twitter for allegedly inciting harassment against actress Leslie Jones.

He said he was shocked by the uproar his appearance prompted, "I'm just sitting in a hotel room stunned that hundreds of people were throwing rocks, throwing who knows what else at the buildings, throwing fireworks at the police, and had to be subdued, according to reports I heard, with tear gas and non-lethal bullets, because they're so threatened by the idea that a conservative speaker might be persuasive and interesting and funny and might take some people with him, they just have to shut it down at all costs."

Donald Trump weighed in on the event on Twitter, saying, "If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?"

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