Richard Spencer May Speak At University Of Florida

Richard Spencer May Speak At University Of Florida

Richard Spencer May Speak At University Of Florida

After the weekend's deadly confrontations in Charlottesville, Virginia surrounding protests by white nationalists, eyes are on the University of Florida and whether a controversial speaker associated with the movement will be allowed to take the stage.

Likewise, University of Florida officials had previously said they were compelled by the First Amendment to rent university space to Spencer's group for an event on September 12, even if they wholeheartedly disagreed with his views.

"Amid serious concerns for safety, we have chose to deny the National Policy Institute's request to rent event space at the University of Florida", Fuchs said in the statement.

The National Policy Institute, an organization headed by white supremacist Richard Spencer, has contacted MSU and intends to rent space for a speaker on campus, a statement released Wednesday afternoon by President Lou Anna K. Simon stated.

"We're concerned about what might happen at the University of Florida and we're having to grapple with a lot of the same things our community is grappling with: Free speech versus our safe community", said Janine Sikes, the UF spokeswoman.

In April, Auburn University unsuccessfully tried to bar Spencer from speaking on campus, also citing potential safety concerns.

Spencer, president and director of the National Policy Institute, popularized the term "alternative right" about a decade ago.

While condemning violence and promising to "get rid of anyone that thinks that that's OK", he said he believed there was a "very good chance" that James Fields, who has been charged with the murder of Ms Heyer after allegedly driving his vehicle into crowds of anti-racism protestors, would be cleared of murder. Fuchs already was in talks with local law enforcement officials and discussing logistics for Spencer's event. White nationalist Preston Wiginton had said he was planning a "White Lives Matter" rally at Texas A&M University in September, but the university later said it has been cancelled.

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The likelihood of violence and potential injury - not the words or ideas - has caused us to take this action.

He blamed the violence on inadequate police protection and counter-demonstrators and said he doubts white nationalists will be deterred from attending more such demonstrations. Another hotel, the Willard, also canceled once that location was leaked and people began tweeting at their parent company asking them why they were allowing a white supremacist to host a press conference at one of their properties.

Asked about his use of the building, he said: "I can live here part time, yes".

Mr Spencer is President of the National Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on what it calls the "dispossession of White Americans".

In hopes of avoiding similar violence, UF said it's developing a security plan and working with other colleges across the county who've held similar events.

U. of C. Law Professor Geoffrey Stone on Saturday published emails from August 1 from Spencer, who asked for an invitation to speak at the university.

"We're going to be more active than ever before", Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader, said Monday.

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