The University of Florida has denied a request to rent space on its campus in Gainesville for an event that was expected to bring Richard Spencer on September twelve. Spencer was also invited to a fascist event in Texas on September eleven, but that event was cancelled as well
Image: Earlier this year Richard Spencer got punched during the Disrupt J 20 protests.
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UF Denies Request For Fascist Event After Charlottesville
The fascists National Policy Institute (NPI) requested the University of Florida (UF) to rent space for a speaking event on September twelve. We reported about the event and the announced counter protests. Yesterday the UF announced that they denied the request of the NPI. University President W. Kent Fuchs posted a statement on Facebook, saying: “Amid serious concerns for safety, we have decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent event space at the University of Florida.”
Fuchs continued in his statement by saying: “This decision was made after assessing potential risks with campus, community, state and federal law enforcement officials following violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., and continued calls online and in social media for similar violence in Gainesville such as those decreeing: “The Next Battlefield is in Florida.” I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for.”
But the decision was not made because of the fascist ideology of fascist groups like the NPI: “The likelihood of violence and potential injury – not the words or ideas – has caused us to take this action,” Fuchs said.
“Such a brazen attack on free speech from a public university is infuriating,” Spencer said.
Cameron Padgett, a Georgia resident affiliated with Spencer’s NPI who was coordinating the event at the UF campus in Gainesville, told Associated Press he would file the legal challenge after conferring with lawyers.
“I signed an agreement and sent it in to the event coordinator,” Padgett said. “I don’t know who’s advising them on why they think they can do this.”
Padgett filed a challenge after Auburn University tried to ban Spencer’s appearance there last spring. A federal judge ruled against Auburn University, and the talk was held as planned. The university was also ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in legal fees.
Several hundred people attended at the event of the fascist NPI in Auburn, Three people got arrested during clashes between fascists and counter protesters.
“Should the National Policy Institute challenge this legally, we are prepared to vigorously defend the president’s decision,” Janine Sikes, a UF spokeswoman, told The Washington Post.
One of the organizers of the planned counter protests on September 12 in Gainesville, Florida, said in a first reaction: “Though the speaking event has in fact been cancelled, we should all continue to remain vigilant and prepared to shut down any right wing rally that may still take place.”
Richard Spencer was also invited to a fascist event in Texas on September eleven, but that event was cancelled as well. Texas A&M University has canceled the “White Lives Matter” on its campus, citing safety concerns.
In a statement Texas A&M University announced that it canceled the event scheduled by Preston Wiginton after “consultation with law enforcement and considerable study.” The event was expected to be held outdoors at Rudder Plaza, located in the middle of campus in College Station.
Wiginton, fascist and a former Texas A&M student, was not invited by a campus organization, nor had any agreed to sponsor him, the school said. His notification to the press about the event was headlined: “Today Charlottesville Tomorrow Texas A&M,” which A&M noted in its statement.
Fascist organizer Preston Wiginton told reporters they’ve already filed a complaint with the ACLU and are in talks with private attorneys to explore a lawsuit. If true, it wouldn’t be the first time ACLU supports fascist groups.
Wiginton says “White Lives Matter” are already planning a march down a public street on A&M’s campus.
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