By Gabrielle Garay | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Oct. 19, white supremacist and president of the National Policy Institute Richard Spencer spoke at an auditorium at the University of Florida.
The last time he spoke on a college campus was on Aug. 11 in Charlottesville, Va., where the “Unite the Right” rally was held. The rally included the torch walk, which triggered violent protests and left one woman, Heather Heyer, dead. The nation watched as men carried torches and chanted under the orange glow.
“Jews will not replace us!” filled the air.
Fearing a similar outcome, Florida was ready for what storm may have come. Gov. Rick Scott allowed the Alachua County to declare a state of emergency in order to allow greater coordination among law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The University of Florida announced they spent over $500,000 on security for the event.
Richard Spencer’s speech at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts auditorium drew a large crowd of protestors. The protestors marched, held signs, and chanted as police officers, SWAT team members, and Florida Highway Patrol watched from the streets and roof tops. Supporters of Spencer were sparse, and the few that spoke out were chastised by protestors. The protest was a mostly peaceful one as the protestors hung around outside of the auditorium.