A speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, who is an editor at Breitbart News, was cancelled at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday night (1 February) after protesters opposed his appearance by setting fires and throwing objects at buildings.

According to reports, demonstrators held placards saying "Hate speech is not Free Speech" vowing to shut down the event.

Over 1,500 people gathered in front of UC Berkeley's Sproul Hall to protest against Yiannopoulos, who was earlier banned from Twitter for inciting trolls against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. The demonstrators also reportedly threw smoke bombs, tore down barriers and started fights in the south campus area.

The university police tweeted that all buildings on campus were placed under lockdown and the individuals on campus should "shelter in place".

Yiannopoulos in a Facebook live video said that he had been evacuated after "violent left-wing protesters tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building."

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He added saying, "One thing we do know for sure: The Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down."

The protests which were said to be organised by the group "Berkeley against Trump" was meant to be peaceful, the group's website said.

"We are here to protest the presence of Milo in our campus, which is a public university, and we believe that no hate speech, racism, misogyny and transphobia should be tolerated here," the group said.