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Scott Declares State of Emergency Before Richard Spencer's Visit to UF

October 16, 2017 - 2:00pm
Richard Spencer
Richard Spencer

Gov. Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency in Alachua County in anticipation of white nationalist Richard Spencer’s visit to the University of Florida this week.

Spencer is scheduled to make an appearance at the Gainesville-based university Thursday. 
The governor said Monday he had declared the state of emergency to promote safety near the university. By declaring a state of emergency, regional and national law enforcement officers can assist local officials in preparing for the event.
“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 Monday.
“I have been in constant contact with Sheriff Darnell who has requested this Executive Order to ensure that county and local law enforcement have every needed resource,” the governor said. 

Scott said constant communication with state and local law enforcement and University leadership to ensure that every request to the state is quickly granted to keep the public safe.

“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,” Scott said.
Gov. Scott announced he would be activating the Florida National Guard as needed in anticipation of Spencer’s arrival.

Spencer has frequently pushed the belief of a “superior race” and has also advocated for the creation of the “creation of a White Ethno-State on the North American continent.”

Spencer also attended a gathering of "alt-right" white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., this summer where a woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when a car slammed into a crowd of counter-protesters. 

Spencer was originally slated to make his speech at the Gainesville-based university in September, but the event was cancelled amidst “serious concerns for safety” as part of the reason the university said “no” to Spencer coming on campus.
Spencer’s speaking engagement was later changed to Oct. 19 after the university was threatened with a lawsuit.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and UF’s own president Kent Fuchs urged students to skip out on Spencer’s lecture last week.
“Richard Spencer craves publicity,” Rubio tweeted to his three million followers last week. “Desperate to incite outrage b/c terrified of @UF speech no one shows up for.”

Rubio then said he wasn’t telling people to turn a blind eye to Spencer, who has come under intense fire for his white supremacist beliefs. 
“#GatorNation not asking u to ignore his racist message,” Rubio continued in a second tweet. “I am suggesting you embarrass him by denying him the attention he craves.”
“[Do] not provide Mr. Spencer and his followers the spotlight they are seeking,” Fuchs said. “They are intending to attract crowds and provoke a reaction in order to draw the media. By shunning him and his followers we will block his attempt for further visibility.”
UF officials have said the event will cost around $500,000 for security to cover the event, including costs for local law enforcement. 


Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.



CBreeze right on but I like Repubtallygirl best for its sanity and brevity. I never heard of the guy but am now thinking bout sending him money. Incite a riot? If they go quietly a year in county. If they get violent kill them. That should thin out the crowd. I am just amazed at $500,000 and the National Guard because one right wing guy wants to talk. I don't know if Spencer is nuts or not. But UF evidently is. With Rick on their coat tail.

By activating the National Guard, Gov. Scott is putting the extreme left wing domestic terrorists like 'Antifa' and 'Black Lives Matter' on notice that Mr. Spencer's views will not be subject to mob rule. Mr. Spencer's world view is actually supported by statistics showing racial diversity as a primary source of conflict in every nation that mandates diversity promotion. Institutions of higher education exist to explore new ideas, not stifle free speech.

The governor is doing the right thing. If things get out of hand and crimes are being committed by the "protesters", lock them up, get names and let's find out who is behind these anarchist displays of violence. Follow the money.... If they demonstrate peacefully, following all rules and regulations pertaining to protests, fine and dandy.

1st Amendment "Freedom of speech" prohibits the GOVERNMENT from stopping YOUR individual expression of "free speech". YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT Governor; and when you declare an "emergency" and 'call out' police and troops,...YOU are violating individual "free speech" rights. Step carefully...and be prepared for lawsuits and settlements... (the 1st Amendment also guarantees the right to PEACEABLE assembly... Anyone NOT peaceable should be befotre a Judge in the AM : Judges like simple business...)

Governor, why legitimize activist demonstrators ? When they assemble and do property damage or physical harm, or are "masked" to do mayhem, and commit the crime of disorderly conduct, LOCK THEM THE HELL UP, and "tell it to the Judge" in the morning. An arrest record (even for minor crimes) is a great incentive not to come back... and looks good on their resume's whil shopping the job market. ( the "word" will spread ..!)

If you really want to hurt this man, no one show up.

Why hurt him? He's not a "maze monkey" running in circles.

Fear mongering at its most hilarious!!!!!!

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