White Nationalist, Richard Spencer, to Speak at UF Today


Sam Schaffer

Students and community members in Gainesville protest hate speech.

Sam Schaffer and Rebecca Newman

White Nationalist, Richard Spencer, is slated to speak at the University of Florida today. He is scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m. in the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

CNN reports that this is Spencer’s first visit to a college campus since he participated in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. where a woman was killed when protests turned violent.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the The National Policy Institute, Spencer’s group, originally requested space to speak at UF on Sep. 19, but after some of his supporters donned Ku Klux Klan attire and violence broke out at the rally in Charlottesville, the University of Florida canceled the event.

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

In a letter to students and in light of the violence that broke out in Charlottesville, the college announced it is spending upwards on half a million dollars on security for the day.

“UF is required by law to allow Mr. Spencer to speak his racist views on our campus, and we are not allowed by law to bill him for the full costs of keeping our campus safe, which exceed more than a half million dollars,” said UF President Kent Fuchs in the letter to students.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has also declared a state of emergency for Alachua County to enable the deployment of the National Guard should it be needed.

A group called “No Nazis” at UF is planning a protest on campus.  Nearly 3,000 people have said they will attend. The group will meet at 3201 Hull Rd. at 1 p.m.

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