UF denies National Policy Institute request for campus event space

Prominent White Supremacist Richard Spencer Schedules Potential Event At The University Of Florida

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.

The head of the National Socialist Movement, Jeff Schoep, said Charlottesville was a "really good" white nationalist event that was being overshadowed by the deaths. The swift bipartisan response by Floridians such as Sens. On the other hand, it also has to protect its students.

Simon said that university administrators "are aware of no connection with any MSU-related group or individual, but such is not required to seek publicly available space", and decision has not yet been made. The university's bylaws say it can not discriminate against a group based on its message.

UF stated that the school "remains unwaveringly dedicated to free speech and the spirit of public discourse". Before the scheduled start of the rally, attacks broke out between protestors and counter-protestors, which included not only physical attacks, but the use of chemical sprays against one another. But at the time, he said the event was "still under discussion".

"Of course, we all know we have the First Amendment but we are not ever going to condone violence", said Governor Scott. Fuchs already was in talks with local law enforcement officials and discussing logistics for Spencer's event.

Prominent White Supremacist Richard Spencer Schedules Potential Event At The University Of Florida
White supremacist Richard Spencer asks to speak at University of Florida

Padgett previously sued Auburn University in Alabama after administrators tried to cancel an April 18 Spencer speech on its campus, despite having a contract with him for the event. The University of Florida is a community of learners, educators and scholars. The alleged driver has long advocated Nazi views and sported white-supremacist regalia over the weekend, according to the Washington Post.

The event's online organizers had indicated they would be "coordinating rides from across the state to protest the event and not allow a repeat of the recent events from UVA [the University of Virginia] to happen here at the University of Florida".

The appropriate response to racists is not to gag them and stifle free speech. The best response is to counter their message with the strong voices of Floridians who embrace equality and religious freedom. "NPI and similar groups' events staged at American campuses are meant to provoke reaction that might seem to justify organizers' racist and divisive messages, which we categorically reject". The events were cancelled out of concern for the universities' students' safety. The violence in Charlottesville understandably heightens those concerns.

Earlier Wednesday, the University of Florida denied the group's request to rent space on campus.

Spencer said he was angry with the university's decision, and his supporters planned to file a legal challenge.

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