Several protesters arrested outside of Ann Coulter speech in Berkeley

Catherine Garcia

Conservative author and provocateur Ann Coulter was greeted by more than 1,000 demonstrators who came out to protest her speech at the University of California, Berkeley, on Wednesday night.

Most of the protesters were students and young activists, and they linked arms in an attempt to block people from getting inside the building where Coulter was set to speak. A few hundred people were able to get inside the venue, The Guardian reports, and while the protesters were mostly peaceful, there were some skirmishes. One protester, a graduate student, said an attendee tried to choke him, and later a police officer grabbed him by the neck and called him a loser.

University officials said there were six or seven arrests, and all but one person was set to be cited and released. Coulter, who has called immigrant children separated from their parents "child actors," was there to espouse her anti-immigrant views, The Guardian reports. She was invited to speak by the Berkeley College Republicans, who paid for her appearance. The organization charged $45 to $75 for tickets; the group's president, Matt Ronnau, told The Guardian, "Hopefully, we get a lot of money."

In 2017, Coulter was set to speak at Berkeley, but canceled at the last minute, citing safety concerns. Earlier that year, there were fights in the streets after right-wing activist Milo Yiannopoulos was set to appear on campus. The university spent $800,000 on security for the Coulter event that was called off, The Guardian reports.

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