White supremacist Richard Spencer's speaking request denied by the University of Florida
07:29, Aug 17, 2017
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A supporter of a group headed by white nationalist Richard Spencer vowed to file a lawsuit against the University of Florida after the school denied a request to rent space on the campus for an event next month.
In an email to students Wednesday morning, UF President W. Kent Fuchs said the administration has denied Spencer's campus speaking request for September 12, citing major safety concerns.
"Such a brazen attack on free speech from a public university is infuriating", Spencer said in a text message to The Associated Press.
In a letter to students over the weekend, Fuchs said the university does not agree with Spencer's extremist views but he is beholden to state law and the First Amendment to not deny him a public space, despite his content.
When asked if white nationalists, such as Richard Spencer, would be allowed to speak on campus, MU officials say it will answer when actually faced with the opportunity.
Spencer, president and director of the National Policy Institute, popularized the term "alternative right" about a decade ago. From what I have seen of your views, they do not seem to me at add anything of value to serious and reasoned discourse, which is of course the central goal of a university.
Mitch Emerson made the public Facebook event but said that many campus groups and local people are working together to create a coalition against Spencer speaking on campus.
The likelihood of violence and potential injury - not the words or ideas - has caused us to take this action.
"You have to have some good reason - surely Charlottesville provides that ground cover", Olivas said. On Saturday, counter protesters clashed with the swastika-sporting white nationalists, leading the governor to declare a state of emergency around 11 a.m., an hour before the rally was set to start. Stay tuned for more on this coming soon!
"I think they can simply say, we have 60,000 people on this campus that could be under threat", he explained.
Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, recently told NPR's Camila Domonoske he believes the latest incidents of schools canceling the alt-right events for safety reasons may be hard to defend, given the events were weeks away.
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Even so, an email sent by UF President Ken Fuchs over the weekend, the UF may still have to rent the space, so they are working with the FDLE and Federal Bureau of Investigation on security plans.
Rick Scott has been in contact with University of Florida officials regarding Spencer's potential visit.
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