Politics

Milo Yiannopoulos' Berkeley talk canceled

People protest the appearance of Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif.
People protest the appearance of Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif.
Ben Margot/AP

A University of California, Berkeley official says a talk by a polarizing Breitbart News editor at the university has been canceled as protesters outside the building where the speech was to have taken place threw smoke bombs and set a fire.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulos says officials are advising the campus to shelter in place and to stay away from the student union building, where Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak.

A group of protesters dressed in black and some in hooded sweatshirts broke windows and set a large bonfire outside the building.

The 32-year-old right wing provocateur is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a self-proclaimed internet troll whose comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist.

His visit to Berkeley was sponsored by the campus Republican club.

Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators carrying signs that read "Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech" had been protesting for hours before the event.