Florida Governor Declares State of Emergency for White Nationalist Speaker

White nationalist Richard Spencer

Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday, as the University of Florida prepares for a speech this week by the fiery white nationalist Richard Spencer, whose racist rallies have sparked violence in other college towns.

The Governor's Office says it received a request for assistance from Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, and in response Scott signed an executive order to provide state law enforcement assistance.

Richard Spencer, the alt-right iconoclast who became arguably the world's most hated man after saying 'Hail Trump!' during a conference previous year, is set to speak at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Thurs.

"The sheriff asked me to do the emergency order to make sure we had all the resources that might be needed to make sure the event that happens on Thursday goes without a hitch", Scott said. He said the executive order is an additional step to ensure that everyone stays safe. The group fought briefly with counterprotesters, and violence worsened the following day when a man drove a auto into a crowd of people protesting a planned "Unite the Right" rally, killing a woman and injuring others.

Fuchs and the university have made clear that they do not endorse Spencer's neo-Nazi ideology, but maintain the state school is required by law to allow him to appear.

Spencer's planned visit has caused repeated headaches for University of Florida administrators.

Gov. Rick Scott issued the executive order. Soon after, Spencer sought permission to speak at UF about white identity and the events in Charlottesville.

Padgett, a Georgia State student, contacted both Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati in September, on behalf of the National Policy Institute, about renting space. The university has said it will likely spend $500,000 on security for the event.

No campus group invited Spencer to speak, and the university is not hosting or sponsoring the event.

Governor Scott remains in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and University leadership to ensure that every request to the state is quickly granted to keep the public safe.

"I'm up there with hurricanes and invading armies and zombie apocalypses", he said, laughing. "But we don't know that, so we're taking it very seriously", Darnell said. UF is hosting a virtual assembly to allow students to air their views simultaneously with Spencer's speech. "Those of us in the majority must speak up for those in the minority and make our voice of love and support heard".

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