UF, Texas A&M Cancel Richard Spencer Events After Charlottesville

YAN M KELLY  THE DAILY PROGRESS

Richard Spencer and his group National Policy Institute had been slated to speak at UF next month, but university officials were anxious the rally would incite violence.

The same day the largest white nationalist protest in years erupted in violence - a protester rammed his vehicle into counter protesters, killing one - the University of Florida announced that the man behind the march wants to speak on campus, and the school might let him.

In a letter from the university's president, Kent Fuchs, Spencer has reached out to UF to speak on September 12.

The move comes after Texas A&M University canceled a white nationalist protest featuring Spencer that was planned in September on that campus due to security concerns. 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.

Thousands are already promising to protest Spencer's event organizing through social media invites. In the last two days, events he had attempted to schedule at Texas A&M and the University of Florida have been canceled out of concerns of violence.

"The likelihood of violence and potential injury - not the words or ideas - has caused us to take this action", Fuchs said.

White nationalists said they were undaunted.

The Facebook Event called No Nazis at UF - Protest Richard Spencer calls 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.

Though Spencer has an intellectual kinship with some violent white nationalist groups, he has not personally advocated violence to achieve his goals, which could label him a threat and exclude him from speaking both at U. of C. and other universities. I again denounce all statements and symbols of hate.

Heimbach, who said he was pepper-sprayed during the melee in Charlottesville, called the event Saturday "an absolute stunning victory" for the far right because of the large number of supporters who descended on the city to decry plans to remove a statue of Lee.

"There is a free speech element involved, but I think given the violence and racial bigotry that they expressed in Charlottesville, I certainly don't want them in our state", Dillon said.

"While it is okay to breathe, and celebrate now, we must think of the future", Love said.

Padgett's challenge filed after Auburn University tried to ban Spencer's appearance there in April was successful, and a federal judge paved the way for Spencer to speak.

President of the UF Black Student Union Dwayne Fletcher said he is confident that the courts will take everyone's safety into consideration, especially in light of the events that occurred in Charlottesville.

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