Ahead of White Nationalist Speech, Fla. Gov Declares Emergency

Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech

Spencer led hundreds of torch-bearing white supremacists, white nationalists and others on a march chanting, "You will not replace us" and "Jews will not replace us", at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in August.

When Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida last month, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency. After his supporters and a lawyer questioned that decision on First Amendment grounds, the university allowed Spencer to schedule his speech and question-and-answer session for Thursday.

Saying there was an "imminent" threat of a potential emergency as a result, Scott explained that the emergency declaration will ensure that security forces have all the necessary resources at their disposition.

The school has reportedly handed over ticketing to the National Policy Institute group that Spencer leads.

"We encourage you to speak up with your voices in support of our proudly diverse community and the values of this institution", said Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick, assistant vice president of public and environmental safety at the school.

"D$3 o not provide Mr. Spencer and his followers the spotlight they are seeking", he wrote.

Florida is gearing up for Richard Spencer's visit.

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The order allows Darnell to quickly "coordinate resources from other state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies", Scott's office said in a statement, adding the governor will maintain in constant communication with security officials to ensure "every request to the state is quickly granted to keep the public safe".

But a group calling itself "No Nazis at UF", which was granted an impromptu meeting with university officials Monday in an attempt to call off Spencer's speech, plans to show up en masse to protest on Thursday.

"This worries me. I don't get it", Spencer said about Scott's order.

Cameron Padgett, a Georgia State University student who helped organize Spencer's speech in Gainesville, posted a video on Twitter [twitter.com] Monday, with an update about how to get tickets for the event.

In that decision, the university explains, "the Court clarified that the government can not assess a security fee on the speaker based upon the costs of controlling the reaction of potential hostile onlookers or protestors", under legal doctrine known as the "heckler's veto".

"I'm up there with hurricanes and invading armies and zombie apocalypses", he said, laughing.

However, UF President Kent Fuchs has urged his students to "avoid the event" and to "not let the message of hate and racism go unchallenged".

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