Violence at UC Berkeley committed in an effort to shut down a talk given by Milo Yiannopoulos, largely orchestrated by communist groups self-identified as “Antifa”, has been rightly criticized by the President of the United States as an effort to shut down free speech and the expression of ideas.
In the mayhem that ensued university buildings were vandalized, including “Kill Trump” spray painted in various locations, ATMs lit on fire, and innocent people assaulted. A young female student was pepper-sprayed while giving an interview to local media before an additional female was beat over the head with wooden flag poles. An innocent male with multiple lacerations remained defiant in his desire to hear the talk while voicing his respect for free speech. Another male attendee was knocked unconscious before being beaten with wooden poles, kicked, and attacked in his defenseless state before an off-duty EMT and other strangers came to his rescue.
According to an individual claiming to have witnessed the assault, the victim was attempting to hide a red “Make America Great Again” hat under his jacket before being spotted by a rioter and attacked en-masse, ultimately leaving him unconscious while continuing to absorb potentially lethal blows.
In an event celebrating free speech in October 2016, Ret. Col Rob Maness, a 32-year veteran of the United States Air Force, perhaps more widely known as a candidate from Louisiana in the 2014 and 2016 United States Senate, attended a Yiannopoulos rally at Louisiana State University. The Bronze Star awarded veteran reports that he is still being verbally attacked with insinuations of Nazism: