Univ. of Florida denies white nationalist event

An outside group not affiliated with the university, the National Policy Institute, has asked to host the speaking event on campus that would feature Richard Spencer, a leader in the movement, next month.

Spencer is a known leader of the white nationalist movement was present and participating in Charlottesville with the former KKK leader, David Duke, according to ABC News.

The University of Florida has announced that it's denying a request from a white nationalist think tank to speak on the school's campus.

"Such a brazen attack on free speech from a public university is infuriating", Spencer said in a text message to The Associated Press.

White supremacist Richard Spencer, whose controversial opinions and public speaking engagements have resulted in widespread criticism and protests, has reached out to the University of Florida regarding a planned public speaking event.

The letter goes on to detail that UF lets third parties rent out space for events and that the National Policy Institute, like all third party groups, will have to cover the cost of the rental and security. As our record shows, this university does not determine who can access public spaces based on what they think or say. In its statement, the university noted that Spencer previously spoke there in December 2016 and all precautions were taken to make sure it was a peaceful event.

This denial by UF comes just days after TAMU also denied Spencer for an event planned for September 11 over safety concerns.

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The U.S. Justice Department said it will review the violence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions told ABC the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32, met the definition of domestic terrorism. He also called President Trump's condemnation of white supremacy "vapid nonsense".

Both universities stated that they had initially considered - and, in Texas A&M's case, scheduled - the respective white nationalist rallies out of support for the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

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.

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. I again denounce all statements and symbols of hate.

"Generally when we're talking about shutting down speech because of threats of violence, it has to be an imminent threat of violence that is also likely to occur", Shibley said.

Spencer is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "radical white separatist whose goal is the establishment of a white ethno-state in North America".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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