White national extremist requests to speak at University of Florida, UF President denies request

Gov. Scott offering security support
Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 09:53:09-04

UPDATE | The University of Florida on Wednesday denied a request by a group headed by white nationalist Richard Spencer to rent space on campus for a September event. Read the school president's statement here.

ORIGINAL STORY | "Whether it's the KKK, whether it's Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, it's evil. They don't belong in our society,” said Governor Rick Scott.

Richard Spencer is the founder of the "Alt-Right" movement. The White Nationalist, whose appearances have provoked unrest, is paying to speak at a public event on the University of Florida campus on September 12.

"Of course, we all know we have the First Amendment but we are not ever going to condone violence,” said Governor Scott.

Governor Scott says he's offered full support to local and state law enforcement and the National Guard to handle the Gainesville event and to stop it from twisting into a Charlottesville-like tragedy.

Some state leaders are questioning why UF wouldn't cancel in the interest of public safety.

"You need to make a decision whether you want peace on your campus or whether it's more important to protect a person's right to hateful speech,” said Florida State Rep. Daryl Rousson, St. Pete.

Thousands are already promising to protest Spencer's event organizing through social media invites.

University of Florida's President put out a statement saying, “I again denounce all statements and symbols of hate.”

He also wrote: "While the "speaker's views do not align with our values…we must follow the law, upholding the First Amendment."

"It's a shame that in these days and times we're still fighting discrimination. We're still fighting racist attacks,” said Rousson.

UF says non-university groups, organizations and persons can rent space on campus as long as they cover rental expenses and security costs.