A protester dances near a burning portable light unit after a demonstration forced the cancellation of a talk by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle
A protest at UC Berkeley over a scheduled appearance by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos turned fiery and violent Wednesday night, prompting police to cancel the event and hustle the Breitbart News editor off campus.
Michael Bodley and Nanette Asimov of SFGate.com reported that even after the event’s cancellation, hundreds of protesters spilled off campus into the city streets, where the violence continued as they confronted drivers, engaged in fights, smashed storefront windows and set fires.
Protesters decried President Trump’s policies as much as they did the visit by Yiannopoulos, a gay conservative who has been making the rounds at college campuses across the country with his “Dangerous Faggot” talks, specializing in remarks meant to insult, offend and disgust liberals who disagree with his ideas.
The trouble began around 6 p.m., two hours before Yiannopoulos was to begin his speech inside the student union building on Sproul Plaza. Protesters outside the building began throwing fireworks and pulling down the metal barricades police set up to keep protesters from rushing inside. Windows were smashed and fires were set outside the building as masked protesters stormed it. Police quickly evacuated Yiannopoulos for his own safety.
Berkeley police said five people were injured and some people, including a man who said he had hoped to see Yiannopoulos speak, were seen with their faces bloodied. There were no arrests.
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