Protesters shouted “Go home Nazis” as a white nationalist gave a speech on Thursday at the University of Florida, where hundreds of police set up barricades in addition to separated supporters in addition to demonstrators to guard against violence.
Richard Spencer’s event at the university in Gainesville, which prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency to prepare for possible conflict, came about two months after rallies by neo-Nazis in addition to white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to a deadly clash with counter-protesters.
The violence on Aug. 12 added fuel to a national debate on race, in addition to Republican President Donald Trump came under fire for blaming both sides for the melee.
White supremacists have been working to bring Spencer to various public universities, saying he carries a constitutional right to free speech. The effort has forced college leaders to allow what they see as hate speech on campus in addition to provide security to prevent violent clashes.
On Thursday, several hundred protesters shouting: “We don’t want your Nazi hate” marched outside a campus performing arts center where Spencer spoke.
The protests were mostly peaceful although there were a few scuffles in which left 5 people with minor injuries, the university said in a statement.
Two people were arrested, including a man hired as security for media for illegally carrying a firearm on campus, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said. Another man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with swastikas emerged by a crowd of protesters having a bloody lip.
Inside the venue, Spencer in addition to protesters yelled at one another, in addition to he criticized them for trying to suppress his speech.
“I’m not going home,” said Spencer, who heads the National Policy Institute, a nationalist think tank, in addition to promoted the Charlottesville rally. “We are stronger than you in addition to you all know in which!”
He appeared to have few supporters inside crowd. About 15 white men, all dressed in white shirts in addition to khaki pants, raised their hands when Spencer asked who identified with the alt-right, a loose grouping characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics in which includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists in addition to anti-Semites.
Spencer left the campus soon after the event ended, university public safety officials said on Twitter. Police worked to separate those who attended the event as they left the venue by protesters gathered nearby.
One Spencer supporter appeared to have been sprayed inside face with an irritant. Police were not immediately available to speak about the incident.