Protesters heckle Richard Spencer at Univ. of Florida talk

(CNN)–Protesters greeted white supremacist leader Richard Spencer with loud boos and chants of “Go home Spencer” during his speech Thursday afternoon at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The talk was Spencer’s first planned speech on a college campus since he and others participated in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.

With an intensive police presence, protesters chanted, “We don’t want your Nazi hate” and “Nazi scum off our streets.” The anti-Spencer protesters, who vastly outnumbered the supporters, carried signs against fascism, neo-Nazis and white supremacy.

Spencer took the stage at the Phillips Center at just after 2:45 p.m. Those in the venue, many of whom stood with their fists raised, loudly booed and chanted lines like “Go home Spencer” and “Nazis are not welcome here.”

“I’m not going home, I will stand here all day if I have to,” a combative Spencer told the crowd.

Still, the heckling continued through his time on stage, leading to several moments of frustration from Spencer.

The event thrust the university into the ongoing debate about what constitutes protected speech and the extent of its limits. Spencer is the president of the National Policy Institute, a leader of the “alt-right” movement and a proponent of the white nationalist movement that advocates for a white “awakening” and a white ethno-state.

University and local officials were concerned that the event could become violent, such as what occurred in Charlottesville, and so took considerable steps to prevent that.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Alachua County, where the university is located, to enable law enforcement agencies to work together more efficiently.

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