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UC Berkeley Spent $600k on Security For Ben Shapiro’s Speech

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The University of California Berkeley appears to have at least two things in spades: anti-free speech protesters, and cash to spend on security from said anti-free speech protesters.

According to this, UC Berkeley shucked out $600k for security during a Thursday speech by conservative speaker Ben Shapiro, all to keep Antifa rioters and anti-First Amendment crybabies from burning town half the campus (ala that time Milo showed up).

Dan Mogulof told The Daily Caller News Foundation the costs came largely in the form of equipment rentals and overtime hours, travel and room and board for police officers called in from other cities to work the event. Officers were seen erecting concrete barriers ahead of the event Thursday evening.

UC Berkeley closed down five surrounding buildings on campus during the event, citing security concerns. The school also closed off the upper balcony of Zellerbach Hall, where the event was held, saying they were worried protesters would throw projectiles onto the audience.

Prior to the event, UC Berkeley leveled a $15,000 security fee against the Young Americas Foundation, the pro-free speech group that sposored the event. That fee was eventually reduced to about $9,000, but only after the school slashed Shapiro’s permitted audience number in half, allegedly for security reasons.

Luckily, that more-than-half-a-mil price tag was enough to keep would-be rioters from lighting the school on fire (though nine people were arrested during the event for battery against police officers and carrying illegal weapons). It's not year clear whether that $600,000 included the cost of counseling services the school had offered for students whose feelings were hurt by someone else's opinion, or if that was a separate charge.

(Cover Photo: Twitter/Javier Panzar)

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