By Stefanie Sciolaro
GAINESVILLE, F.L.– Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and President of the National Policy Institute, spoke at University of Florida in Gainesville today. He began his speech by declaring that all individuals have the right to free speech regardless of the ideology of it. As Spencer continued it was clear the audience was more against than for his words.
Audience members began to drown out Spencer’s words with chants such as “go home” and “Nazi’s are not welcome here”. Participants in the crowd held fists and middle fingers in the air.
“I’m not going home, I will stand here all day if I have to,” Spencer said.
The university and law enforcement were prepared for the worst before the event began. They had barricades and roadblocks set up prior around the area that the event had taken place. Police began to suit up in riot gear as tensions grew both in and outside of where the event was being held.
According to NPR, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott previously denied an earlier request by Spencer to give a speech at UF because of the events that occurred in Charlottesville, North Carolina.