White nationalist speaking at UF scheduled for Oct. 19

Security costs to top $500,000

October 06, 2017 - 6:38 am
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GAINESVILLE (AP) — The University of Florida says it has confirmed Oct. 19 for a speaking event featuring white nationalist Richard Spencer.

UF released a statement Thursday making the previously tentative date official. The school is charging the allowable costs of $10,564 for rent and security.

Estimates for response by law enforcement will top $500,000, including Gainesville Police, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, UF Police, Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies.

The university has repeatedly stated that it will not be affiliated with the event in any way, but as a public institution, UF is legally obligated to allow the expression of many viewpoints by external groups, such as Spencer’s National Policy Institute.

UF previously denied the group’s request to hold an event on Sept. 12, citing recent violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. UF President W. Kent Fuchs said at the time that the First Amendment doesn’t require risking imminent violence to students.

The university set up a webpage providing detailed information about the event --- https://freespeech.ufl.edu/qa-for-1019-event/.

The Spencer appearance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 19 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the university said classes will not be canceled that day.

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