On Thursday, #RichardSpencer, director of the #NationalPolicyInstitute, a #Virginia-based #whitesupremacist think-tank, is slated to speak at #UF in #Gainesville.
Chad Chavira, a student and one of the organisers of the "No Nazis at UF" protest, said he expects thousands of people to demonstrate against Spencer's presence. "Our stance from the beginning is that Richard Spencer should not have a platform here and that the #university should not have provided him with one," Chavira told Al Jazeera. "By #hosting Spencer, not only does it bring #whitenationalists into the community," he said. "But it also #emboldens the ones who are already here and gives [Spencer] the opportunity to #recruit those who are on the fringe of his movement." Spencer is a leading member of the alt-right, a loosely-knit coalition of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-#Nazis who advocate a white ethnostate.
On Monday, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Alachua County, where the university is located, in anticipation of the speech.
Chants BEAT Spencer ASS, BEAT HIS ASS, THINK OF TRAYVON'S DEATH & ZIMMERMAN FREEDOM, & BEAT HIS ASS, BEAT HIS ASS!!
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Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in advance of a speech white nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to give at the University of Florida.
In an executive order issued Monday, Scott warned that a 'threat of a potential emergency is imminent' in Alachua County, in north Florida. Spencer is slated to speak at the campus on Thursday.
Spencer participated in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence in August. He and his supporters continuously chanted: 'You will not replace us' and 'Jews will not replace us'.
Scott's executive order will allow local law-enforcement authorities to partner with state and other law-enforcement agencies to provide security for the event. The university has already said it expects to spend $500,000 on security
The governor is also activating the Florida National Guard to help with security if it is needed. Scott said he declared the emergency after discussing Spencer's speech with Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell.
'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. '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.'
Spencer said the emergency declaration was 'flattering' but 'most likely overkill'.
'I'm not a hurricane or an invading army, at least not literally,' he said during a telephone interview Monday.
However, Spencer expressed concern that the emergency declaration could be used as a pretext for blocking his speech. He noted that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had declared a state of emergency on the day of the Charlottesville rally before Spencer and others could speak.
'That was basically a mean