A fan of fallen alt-right darling Milo Yiannnopoulos has filed a lawsuit against UC Berkeley Regents for a whopping amount, claiming that her First Amendment rights were curtailed when she attempted to attend a February appearance by Yiannopoulos.
The suit, filed in federal court in California on Monday alleges that the defendants “have subjected UC Berkeley students and invitees who do not subscribe to the radical, left wing philosophies sanctioned by Defendants to severe violence and bodily harm for merely expressing a differing viewpoint, in clear contravention of their rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
In addition to the UC Berkeley Regents, the suit’s many defendants include UC president Janet Napolitano, the UC Berkeley police department, the Berkeley police department, frequent conservative target George Soros and California representative Nancy Pelosi.
“The University of California Berkeley (‘UC Berkeley’) … has acted to unconstitutionally curtail the First Amendment rights of its students and invitees thereof,” the suit reads, adding that the defendants “have subjected UC Berkeley students and invitees who do not subscribe to the radical, left wing philosophies sanctioned by Defendants to severe violence and bodily harm for merely expressing a differing viewpoint, in clear contravention of their rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
The suit alleges that, when Robles attempted to attend the appearance by Yiannopoulos, more than 1,500 protesters gathered at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza and “erupted into violence.”
“Several people, including Plaintiff Robles, were intentionally and violently attacked by both masked and unmasked assailants and the UC Berkeley campus incurred over $100,000 worth of damage,” the lawsuit reads. “Plaintiff Robles was attacked with extremely painful pepper spray and bear mace by masked assailants amongst the ‘protestors’ because she chose to exercise her right to freedom of speech and show support for the planned speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos.”
The suit also says that there were no campus police near Robles when the protests went down, but there were “nearly 100 campus police and SWAT members waited in the Student Union building, within eyesight of the violence happening outside, watching the protestors become more belligerent and dangerous.”
The suit contends that the defendants “should have been fully prepared” for violence to break out at the event, but such wasn’t the case.
“Defendants should have reasonably anticipated a violent response to Milo Yiannopoulos’ presence on their campus and acted accordingly by providing effective police protection to those attending the event,” the legal papers read. “The school’s inaction was motivated by the fact that Milo Yiannopoulos and his supporters have opposing viewpoints to the majority of the school’s students and administration.”
In a statement to TheWrap, UC Berkeley called the lawsuit “a collection of false claims.”
“The University of California, Berkeley intends to mount a vigorous and successful defense of its actions, and looks forward to contesting this collection of false claims. The campus administration and law enforcement professionals at the University of California Police Department (UCPD) are committed to supporting our paired commitment to Free Speech and to the safety of campus community members and all of our guests,” the statement reads. “In advance of the Milo Yiannopoulos event, administrators and UCPD spent countless hours and substantial University resources planning security measures to enable the event to occur. Faced with an unprecedented level of organized violence, UCPD responded in a manner designed to minimize injuries to innocent members of the surrounding crowd, defend the building from incursion by massed attackers, and protect and safely remove the speaker. We are confident that UCPD’s actions will be vindicated against the plaintiff’s uninformed allegations.”
Alleging multiple violations of the U.S. Constitution, negligence, gross negligence, assault and other counts, the suit seeks damages in excess of $23 million.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.