Attendees protested and booed white nationalist Richard Spencer during his visit at the University of Florida on Thursday, two months after he participated in the violent "United the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Student protesters filled the back rows of the auditorium, and continued chanting and shouting throughout the speech, many standing with clenched fists in the air. Meanwhile, supporters sat toward the front.
Protesters also repeatedly told Spencer he should return home, but in response, Spencer said the crowd was trying to "stifle" his right to free speech.
"You are trying to stifle our free speech," said Spencer, who has gained national attention for his belief that a separate nation should exist specifically for white people.
"I'm not going home, I will stand here all day if I have to," Spencer added, according to CNN.
University of Florida students protest speech given by white supremacist #RichardSpencer #SpencerAtUF pic.twitter.com/m0Ik7A2xBn— Today'sLoop (@TodaysLoop) October 19, 2017
Spencer also took questions from the audience. Some asked him why he hadn't left, but others asked how he planned to create a white ethno-state devoid of violent ethnic cleansing.
In finishing his presentation, Spencer addressed the protesters.
"You think that you shut me down. Well, you didn't," he said after after answering questions. "You actually even failed at your own game ... The world is not going to be proud of you."
Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, per the request of Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, issued a state of emergency order for Alachua County earlier this week because the "threat of a potential emergency is imminent." He also said law enforcement was necessary to ensure public safety and that public and private property would be protected.
Police and media helicopters surrounded the campus on Thursday to monitor the hundreds of protesters who gathered in opposition of Spencer's visit.
The university charged the National Policy Institute $10,564 to use the venue on campus for the speech and for security within the venue. However, the school was required to pay the remainder of the security costs, amounting to approximately $600,000.
"I fully understand freedom of speech cannot be burdened legally with the full cost of this, but on the other hand we're being burdened," University of Florida president Kent Fuchs told the Associated Press. "So taxpayers are subsidizing hate speech."
The school pressed for additional security, considering how violent the protests in Charlottesville were in August.
Source : http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/protesters-boo-white-nationalist-richard-spencer-during-speech-at-university-of-florida/article/2638094