Richard Spencer Speaking At UF Leads To Florida Governor Declaring A State Of Emergency
State of emergency declared for Florida before white nationalist Richard Spencer’s campus speech.Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency ahead of white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida on Thursday. The Republican governor, in a seven-page executive order, cited safety concerns and mentioned that Spencer’s past speeches have sparked protests and multiple arrests. The state of emergency was issued for Alachua County, which is home to the university in Gainesville.
“We live in a country where everyone has the right to voice their opinion, however, we have zero tolerance for violence and public safety is always our number one priority,” Scott said in a statement Monday. “This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe.”The governor said the order came at the request of Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell.Spencer, who participated in the August Charlottesville riots that killed one woman, called Scott’s executive order “flattering.”“It’s flattering, I guess. I am in the same genre as hurricanes and invading armies,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. But he added that the governor’s move could put his speech on standstill.Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had also declared a state of emergency the day of the “Unite the Right” rally before Spencer and other speakers were supposed to address the crowd.“That state of emergency order was used as a pretext to stifle free speech, and I do worry that this might be the same gambit,” Spencer told the newspaper.Kent Fuchs, the university’s president, has urged students not to attend Spencer’s speech, but to “speak up for your values” and the school’s values, according to the paper.The university has already spent 0,000 on security for the event. In addition, state and local law-enforcement would also provide protection under Scott’s executive order.
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