Florida Prepares for White Rally with State of Emergency

Oct 18, 2017, 00:27
Florida Prepares for White Rally with State of Emergency

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency this week in preparation for Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida of Gainesville.

University of Cincinnati president Neville G. Pinto announced last Friday that they would "uphold the First Amendment and allow Richard Spencer to speak on campus", after Bristow threatened to sue earlier in the week.

In his executive order, the Associated Press reports, Scott warned that the "threat of a potential emergency is imminent" in Gainesville, where UF is located. The National Policy Institute, the white supremacist think tank Spencer leads, initially sought to rent space on the UF campus on September 12, shortly after the Charlottesville attack, but the request was denied on the basis that unrest similar to what had just happened in Virginia might also occur in Gainesville, threatening public safety there.

The university had previously prohibited Spencer's group from renting space on the campus for a rally that would have been held mere days after the Charlottesville, Va., riots on public safety grounds.

The university will spend $500,000 to enhance security on campus.

Governor Rick Scott is also taking no chances by issuing a state of emergency.

"I don't think so". In another page hosted by the group, No Nazis at UF says the protests are necessary to counteract Spencer's brand of "white supremacy and fascism".

The university will recoup $10,564 from Spencer's National Police Institute for the two-hour rental of the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Almost 100 people rallied Monday to protest the school's decision to allow Spencer to speak.

Students are already protesting on campus.

Gov. Scott released a statement saying in part that Florida has zero tolerance for violence and public safety is always the No. 1 priority.

"The sheriff asked me to do the emergency order to make sure we had all the resources that might be needed to make sure the event that happens on Thursday goes without a hitch", Scott said.

Bondi and Putnam are University of Florida graduates. The event is unaffiliated with the school, and no student groups sponsored the speech or invited him, the university said.

"We are hoping this is a nonevent", Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said.

Protests challenging Spencer's rhetoric are scheduled for Thursday.

The university provided a permit for Spencer to speak, though Fuchs clarified that he strongly disagreed with Spencer's views. "It is our creation and our inheritance, and it belongs to us", he said.

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