"Free Speech Week" at the University of California, Berkeley, which would have served as a speaking platform for conservative firebrands like Steve Bannon, author Ann Coulter, and Milo Yiannopoulos, has officially been called off, the university announced Saturday.
Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor of public affairs for Berkeley said that representatives from one of the organizers of the event, the Berkeley Patriot student organization, reached out to confirm that all of the events for Free Speech Week have been cancelled.
" It is extremely unfortunate that this announcement was made at the last minute, even as the University was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life in order to provide the needed security for these events," Mogulof said in a statement Saturday, one day before the four-day series of events was slated to start.
"Claims that this is somehow the outcome desired by the campus are without are without basis in fact," Mogulof added. "The University was prepared to do whatever was necessary to support the First Amendment rights of the student organization."
The university said it "dedicated a disproportionate amount of time facilitating the planning efforts of the student organization."
Yiannopoulos, who is another organizer for the event, said 24 hours earlier that Free Speech Week was still on and that conflicting reports saying the event was cancelled are "fake news."
Yiannopoulos posted to Facebook Saturday afternoon to say he was informed that "Berkeley Patriot, under pressure from the administration" withdrew their "sponsorship" of Free Speech Week. He added that students may have pulled out, but he and his speakers "have not." "We will release more information in an emergency Facebook Live press conference shortly," he added.
Berkeley, which is also expected to hold a press availability sometime in the afternoon Saturday, said that an "entity called MILO Inc. released rosters of speakers whose names never appeared on any confirmed list provided by the student organization."
Conservative events at Berkeley have history of being cancelled over safety issues; both Coulter and Yiannopoulos have had prior events cancelled in connection to campus riots.
One conservative figure, political commentator Ben Shapiro, did recently hold an event at the left-leaning campus. That, along with other unnamed events with conservative speakers, the university touted as evidence that it is "deeply committed to freedom of speech."