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Milo Yiannopoulos pulled from ‘Free Speech Arizona’ event after “violent threats”

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A Free Speech Arizona symposium is going ahead in Phoenix Saturday despite dropping its headline speaker, right wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, due to threats of violence.

The event organised by United Liberty Coalition is taking place in Glendale despite a week of “violent threats” and “security concerns”, according to organisers.

READ MORE: Milo Yiannopoulos says 12,000 refugees are rapists… backtracks when told they’re Christian

The group said it was forced to drop the controversial former Breitbart editor because of security concerns.

“This decision was difficult for us to make but ultimately the safety of both our speakers and guests are of the utmost importance to us,” the group said.

Yiannopoulos confirmed on Facebook that he had been asked not to come to Arizona due to a series of threats.

“I’m as irritated as you are,” he told fans promising to work with new agents and promoters to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

United Liberty Coalition’s Facebook post included a quote attributed to Yiannopoulos blaming liberals for blocking free speech.

“The contrast between my tour in Australia, which has grown from 5 to 7 venues, and my tour in America, where 3 venues have cancelled due to safety concerns, should serve as a wake-up call to the guardians of free speech in this country.

Left-wing bullies continue to use the threat of violence – and, often, deploy real violence –to suppress conservative speakers.”

The exact location of the symposium was keep secret until the day before the event. Some 62 venues turned down the group, according to the Phoenix New Times citing organiser Shelby Busch.

Yiannopoulos is closely associated with the “alt-right” movement. His appearances on college campuses have spurred protests and even violence.  

Last month, Yiannopoulos’ planned Free Speech Week at Berkeley was cancelled after the group of students planning to host him backed out, citing “threats” and actions of University staff.

READ MORE: Berkeley ‘Free Speech Week’ cancelled, Yiannopoulos to hold rally anyway

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