Crowds of protesters gathered on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville on Thursday as white supremacist leader Richard Spencer arrived to deliver a speech on his racist views. The event is Spencer’s first visit to a college campus since he helped organize and participate in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.
The protestors on campus are lined with an intensive police presence, chanting slogans like, “We don’t want your Nazi hate” and “Nazi scum off our streets.” The anti-Spencer protesters greatly outnumbered those who were there in the support, and they carried signs against fascism, neo-Nazis and white supremacy.
On Monday, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Alachua County, where the University of Florida is located, to enable law enforcement agencies to work together more efficiently. He also made a provision for the National Guard to be activated if necessary.
University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs denounced Spencer’s white supremacist platform as abhorrent in a letter to students but said the school unfortunately couldn’t stop him from renting the Phillips Center for the event.