UF denies request for White Nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus

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Citing security concerns, the University of Florida has denied the National Policy Institute’s request to rent event space at the University of Florida.

Spencer, the head of the National Policy Institute, had contacted the university for plans to rent space on the campus in Gainesville, Florida next month.

UF President W. Kent Fuchs said in a statement Wednesday that the decision was made after assessing risks to the campus, community and law enforcement following last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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UF President, W. Kent Fuchs, said in a press release " I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for." 

The Facebook Event called No Nazis at UF - Protest Richard Spencer called for a protest in front of the Phillips Center for Performing Arts; 1,000 people have said they're going and over 2,800 have said they're interested. 

UF stated that the school "remains unwaveringly dedicated to free speech and the spirit of public discourse. However, the First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others. 

Tallahassee Mayor has released the following statement:

“President Fuchs made the right choice in protecting the University of Florida’s students and Gainesville from the violence that Richard Spencer and his band of white supremacists would bring. While their ideas are repugnant to civilized society, we know that they exist in more pockets of our country than we want to admit. We cannot ignore them, but we don’t have to give them a platform to spew hate and incite violence at one of our public universities. We must bend the arc of justice and fulfill our founding words to form a more perfect union, no matter how weary we may get along the way."

 

White Nationalist Richard Spencer may speak at UF; counter protest planned