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The protesters hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and sparked a massive bonfire to protest the firebrand editor's speech, scheduled for Tuesday night. According to theTimes, the suspect says he believed the person he shot was a white supremacist and he was acting in self-defense.

President Trump responded to the situation at Berkeley with a Thursday tweet morning that threatened to pull federal funds from the university. No matter what your ideology is, the right to free speech is paramount, especially on college campuses. "I do think our police did an incredible job under very hard circumstances to minimize harm to people in the crowd".

Yiannopoulos said he wasn't sure why the police stood down, but noted that the mayor of Berkeley was "sort of gleefully egging" the protests on.

"I wouldn't bet against it, Don", said Reich.

Robert Reich, the Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton and a Berkeley professor, suggested on Thursday, contrary to all evidence, that right-wing groups staged the violence that shut down a Milo Yiannopoulos event that was to be hosted on the liberal university campus on Wednesday.

Reich, who teaches at Berkeley, explained that he knows the students on campus and those that he saw tearing up the city were not students.

In a statement following the event, the College Republicans group said it was disappointed about what happened, and called it a "shame" protesters couldn't "be respectful of McInnes".

Protesters tore down barricades, let off fireworks and set the campus ablaze during the furious protests over the conservative Breitbart editor.

In anticipation of the protests, campus police officers dressed in riot gear and gathered on the balcony of the Student Center where the event was set to take place.

Mr Yiannopoulos, whose Twitter account was suspended past year after he was accused of participating in an online harassment of a black actress, criticised "the Left", saying in a statement it was "absolutely terrified of free speech and will do anything to shut it down".

UC Berkeley Spokesman Dan Mogulof said the rioters were part of an Oakland anarchist group known as the "Black Bloc" and that at least six people were injured. "I think what we want now is peace, and love, and understanding, and free speech that includes, yes, even repugnant individuals that border on hate, like this individual that was shut down yesterday".

They cited as one example an incident in December at the University of Milwaukee where Yiannopoulos openly mocked a transgender student, displaying her name and photo on screen.

More than 100 UC Berkeley faculty members had signed two letters sent last month to the school's chancellor, urging him to cancel the event. "They did an incredible job under these circumstances and prevented further violence".