The first public speech by the white supremacist since Charlottesville drew huge anti-fascist crowds
Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer arrived at the University of Florida yesterday (October 19) to give his first public speech since the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Hundreds of protesters turned out to challenge the white supremacist.
Demonstrators made sure that Spencer felt as unwelcome as possible at the Phillips Centre for the Performing Arts. He spoke favourably about Trump, and expressed concern that the man accused of murdering Charlottesville protester Heather Heyer won’t get a free trial. Most of his speech was spent addressing hecklers and chants.
“Fuck you Spencer”, “Alt Right you can’t hide, you support genocide” and “Black Lives Matter” were some of the many protest chants.
“You are yelling at a dissident intellectual!” Spencer said, according to the Huffington Post. “You are not yelling at power!”
“You think that you shut me down. Well, you didn’t. The world is not going to be proud of you,” he whined.
The university had reportedly attempted to ban Spencer from campus, citing security reasons, though relented when he threatened to sue for encroaching on free speech. Spencer paid $10,000 to rent the space – no one actually invited him there. Florida was his first stop on his tour of colleges.
The Anti-Defamation League warned attendees that Andrew Anglin, the white supremacist who runs the Daily Stormer, had encouraged followers to stir hatred in the area by targeting black and Jewish religious and cultural centres in the area.
The Florida governor had declared a state of emergency at the beginning of the week due to Spencer’s planned visit.
When Spencer decided to let the floor ask questions, the first he received said, “Why do you think you’re welcome here, when it literally took a court order to get you here?”
He claimed he had “tremendous support”, while the audience drowned him out with anti-fascist chants.
Somebody just asked Richard Spencer "given how ugly you guys are, why do you think white people are supreme?"— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) October 19, 2017