To see what free speech looks like in 2017 at the birthplace of the famed movement, consider the elaborate preparations underway for a talk Thursday by a conservative writer.
Ben Shapiro isn’t nearly as controversial as some right-wing speakers who have roiled the campus over the last year.
Nonetheless, UC Berkeley has told students that counseling is available to those stressed by all the commotion. A large swath of the campus will be closed off, including the plaza where the free speech movement began in the 1960s. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on security, and police can now use pepper spray on protesters after a 20-year-old ban was lifted by the City Council this week.