LOS ANGELES: Protests erupted on Wednesday at the University of California at Berkeley against a scheduled event that was to be attended by a controversial editor of the conservative news website Breitbart.
Hundreds of students and other protesters smashed windows at the university, set a large fire and threw fireworks and explosives at police. The officers, dressed in full riot gear, responded with tear gas.
“Shut him down!” protesters chanted. The university was placed on lockdown as the speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative firebrand, was canceled in early evening.
Yiannopoulos, who is technology editor for the news website, is known for his provocative social media posts and was banned from Twitter in July for fueling abuse directed at “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.
The British journalist is a vocal supporter of Donald Trump – nicknaming the US president “Daddy” during his election campaign – and has become one of the faces of America’s “alt-right” movement.
Similar protests at the University of California at Davis last month also forced the cancellation of speeches by Yiannopoulos and former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli.