Suit seeks OK for white nationalist speech at Auburn

Apr 21, 2017, 03:37
Suit seeks OK for white nationalist speech at Auburn

There were three arrests made outside the event for disorderly conduct.

Inside, hundreds of people packed Foy Hall, many of whom appeared too old to be traditional students, as Spencer delivered on his reputation for inflammatory rhetoric.

Spencer, in addition to helping coin the moniker "alt-right", is president of the white nationalist think tank National Policy Institute. "No KKK. No racist United States of America".

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Spencer's infamy spiked after he hosted a widely covered "alt-right" conference in Washington D.C. last November, at which he gave a speech about the future of the movement that concluded with several of those in attendance giving Nazi salutes as Spencer yelled "hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!"

Spencer promised Tuesday night was "going to be wild". But on Tuesday, Spencer got a federal court order forcing the university to allow him to speak.

An initial agreement between Cameron Padgett, who rented the facility for Spencer's talk, and the university included a $700 rental fee for the Foy auditorium and additional costs for security.

In a letter from Auburn University provost, the school cited safety concerns for the attempted cancelation.

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Last week, the university issued a statement that said in part, "We strongly deplore his views, which run counter to those of this institution". The suit claimed the university violated free-speech rights by trying to stop Spencer's appearance.

When white supremacist Richard Spencer chose to speak at Auburn University despite the safety concerns of students, teachers and staff, he was met with violence as well as tough questions.

The mere promise of divisive speakers like Spencer has previously ignited violent riots. At least six were injured.

Students staged an #AuburnUnites music festival to promote a peaceful response to Spencer's visit, according to the student paper, the Plainsman.

Police are reporting arrests linked to an appearance at Auburn University by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Free speech or hate speech?

There were also others that came out to express their own political beliefs.

"Discrimination on the basis of message content can not be tolerated under the First Amendment", he wrote in the ruling.

"All of those identities are ultimately toothless, they're ultimately meaningless", Spencer said. "The alt-right is really about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again".