Flash: Berkeley Protests at Telegraph and Bancroft

Janis Mara (BCN)
Sunday September 24, 2017 - 01:00:00 PM

Protests are taking place near Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way in Berkeley, causing traffic congestion, and people are advised to avoid the area if possible, police said this morning. 

While the so-called "Free Speech Week" planned at the University of Florida this week has been canceled, far-right speakers have said they plan to hold forth at Sproul Plaza at noon today. 

Counter-protests are taking place in response. "Expect delays for several hours in the area," University of California police said in a bulletin. 

Milo Yiannopoulos, a self-described "troll" - widely defined as someone who deliberately sows discord online - has said he and two other far-right personalities, Mike Cernovich and Pamela Geller, would speak today. 

The university's police department has put measures in place to ensure the safety of the campus community, university officials said. 

Libraries and other buildings that serve students, specifically Eshelman and Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, are open today. Anyone planning to be on campus should carry their Cal ID in order to gain access to buildings, according to university officials. 

With regard to the counter-protests, "We encourage you to think critically about your actions and not react to the provocations of others," campus officials said in a statement. 

"If the actions around you are not consistent with your own values and goals, please remove yourself from the situation. If you choose to remain in an area where violence is occurring, you may be subject to arrest or removal," campus officials said. 

When Yiannopoulos last was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley in February, protests caused more than $100,000 in damage to the campus, and more than a dozen businesses were vandalized in the city's downtown area, according to university officials. 

Campus police are urging people who see violence occurring to separate themselves from the violence and report the violence by dialing 911 or (510) 642-3333.