Conservative star Ben Shapiro spoke at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday night amid extraordinary security measures – costing around $600,000 – prompted by fears of an outburst by violent agitators possibly descending on the campus.

All the precautions were to ensure that the 33-year-old conservative could deliver a speech on a college campus that was home to the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s. The scene was a stark change from Shapiro’s 2016 UC Berkeley talk, where the security costs were minimal.

“No violence, no nothing. And now we are spending well into six figures so that I can say many of the same things. It’s utterly absurd,” Shapiro told the audience Thursday.

Metal detectors, concrete barriers and police barricades put the campus on effective lockdown.


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