Protesters set fires and looted stores Wednesday night after peaceful demonstrations against a speech by Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley turned violent, police said.
Some protestors broke windows, threw smoke bombs and flares, and started a raging blaze. Police reported substantial amounts of debris on campus, and warned visitors to the campus to be aware of their surroundings.
Yiannopoulos is probably most well-known for his outspoken comments, which have been widely criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist. Previous year his Twitter account was suspended over claims he took part in the online harassment of an African-American actress.More news: GOP Sens. Collins, Murkowski say they'll vote no on Betsy DeVos nomination
The university stressed that his planned visit to the campus was in no way meant to serve as an endorsement of the hate speech he is so fond of spewing., citing their commitment to free speech. The university has stressed it did not invite him and does not endorse his ideas but is committed to free speech and rejected calls to cancel the event. In fall 2014, Berkeley enrolled close to 27,000 students and about 10,500 graduate students, according to its website.
The warning comes after a night of violence and protests in response to Breitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos' scheduled appearance on the left-leaning campus.
Hundreds of protesters at the University of California at Berkeley on Wednesday smashed windows, set fires and clashed with police as they forced a right-wing speaker to cancel his appearance at the liberal-leaning institution.More news: Senate confirms Rex Tillerson to be next Secretary of State
"This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley", Mike Wright, a Berkeley College Republican member, told The San Francisco Chronicle. "People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter", the company said.
The "shelter in place" order was lifted about 10 p.m., although campus police warned that protests were still going on in the surrounding community and advised people to avoid neighboring streets. A man was shot and wounded at protests outside his January 21 talk at the University of Washington.
The university also condemned "in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display".More news: Jurgen Klopp's Premier League title bid is over, says Jamie Carragher