San Francisco - The ACLU of Northern California is not currently representing the Berkeley Patriot in any way, contrary to Pranav Jandhyala’s statement on KQED’s The California Report that “We have the ACLU on our side; we have a really good legal team that’s ready to go to court…”.
Although it is correct that the ACLU is a staunch advocate against government control of speech, we pick and choose our cases carefully to ensure that they are high impact and have legal merit. As a general matter, a failure to comply with reasonable time, place, manner restrictions for events is not protected by the First Amendment.
Moreover, we remain troubled by the Berkeley Patriot’s misappropriation of the term “Free Speech” in describing their event. Make no mistake – the views expressed by Steve Bannon, Ann Coulter, and Milo Yiannopoulos are about bigotry and racism. While the Constitution protects the expression of those views, let’s be clear that this event is about spreading hate and intolerance, not “free speech.” We are not on their side.