Protesters Converge on White Nationalist Richard Spencer Event

Protesters Converge on White Nationalist Richard Spencer Event

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.

But hundreds of them, along with many non-students, defied those requests, marching on the campus theater Spencer rented.

Spencer is scheduled to speak at the Phillips Center on the southwest part of campus at 2:30 p.m. 800 tickets were distributed for the event and a large counter-protest is scheduled in the area. The apparent resurgence in white nationalism in the USA has sparked anti-racists to mobilize with their own efforts, which have included nonviolent demonstrations and pressure campaigns on companies providing services to white nationalists but also violent attacks meant to drive white nationalists out of public spaces. Spencer said, describing himself as a "dissident intellectual".

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors U.S. hate groups, said Mr Spencer is "a radical white separatist whose goal is the establishment of a white ethno-state in North America".

Alligator Brewing says it will give a free draft beer for every two reserved seating tickets to the event people bring in, with the goal of creating vast empty swaths of seats in the arena. "My interest in speaking at the University of Florida, speaking all over the country, is to raise consciousness among whites, among white people", Spencer said. A participant plowed his auto into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a woman.

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The University of Florida expects to spend $500,000 on security for a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

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. President W. Kent Fuchs urged students not to come near the event, saying Spencer and his followers wanted to provoke a reaction.

Spencer seemed to revel in the attention.

"We are hoping that this is going to be a non-event".