Protests begin against Richard Spencer at Univ. of Florida

Image Richard Spencer and supporters

One of the public faces of a resurgent white nationalist movement, Mr Spencer helped organize protests of the removal of a statute of confederate general Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia that spiraled into bloodshed when a auto plowed into counterprotesters. The security costs stemmed from trouble that has seemed to follow Spencer: His last major public appearance with other white nationalists ended with a riot in Charlottesville, Va. that took a deadly turn.

A massive security presence is in force with more than 500 officers on hand.

"By him being here, it's giving us a platform to talk about the values of higher education and the values of universities that welcome all kinds of people from all religions and skin colors", Fuchs says.

Earlier in October, Spencer and other white supremacists returned to Charlottesville, carrying tiki torches and chanting "you will not replace us" and "we will be back".

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday, saying a "threat of a potential emergency is imminent" in Alachua County, where the school is located.

Padgett said Penn State President Eric Barron and the school's board of trustees have no reason to think Spencer and his supporters will engage in offensive criminal misconduct or advocate for it.

"We unfortunately can't stop him from bringing his hate to Gainesville", Alligator explained in an Instagram post, "but we can empty the room so his disgusting message goes unheard".

The clashes some feared didn't happen, as Spencer's outnumbered fans seemed focused on attending the event at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts rather than on confronting the crowds.

UF finally granted their request after the National Policy Institute threatened to sue the school.

Spencer's National Policy Institute is paying $10,564 to rent space for the speaking event. One person died and dozens were hurt when a vehicle being driven by a white supremacist plowed into a group of counter-protesters.

As a public university, Florida is prohibited from stopping the event based on the contents or views of the speech, Fuchs said.

University President Kent Fuchs has urged students to snub the speech.

"I don't believe staying home is an option in the face of hate and evil", said Timothy Tia, a student organizer.

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