White Nationalist Richard Spencer's Speech At Auburn Sparks Protests, Arrests

Richard Spencer
Suit seeks OK for white nationalist speech at Auburn
Author

21 April, 2017

In the past, Spencer has called Martin Luther King Jr. a "fraud and degenerate in his life", and said the civil rights icon has become the "symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of Occidental civilization", according to an NPI column cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Auburn requested and received assistance from the Montgomery Police Department and Alabama State Troopers.

Though Auburn has officially nixed Spencer's speech at James E. Foy Hall, there is some concern among groups hoping to protest his presence at Auburn that the school may not be able to bar him from spouting nonviolent rhetoric in the school's "free-speech zone".

Padgett sued Auburn, which as a public institution must adhere to the First Amendment's free speech guarantees.

The speech was given at Auburn University's Foy Hall.

Auburn University itself was reportedly surprised by Spencer's arrival. "The alt-right is really about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again". A lawyer intervened on Mr. Spencer's behalf, however, and a federal judge Tuesday afternoon ordered Auburn to let the event unfold as initially planned.

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None of the three were students at Auburn University or affiliated with the University in any way. "Students, faculty, and staff should remain aware of their surroundings and report any unusual or threatening activity to the Auburn Police ..."

Spencer, 38, director of the white nationalist think tank National Policy Institute, has been a target for his radical beliefs.

After President Donald Trump's election victory last November, Spencer addressed a gathering of the alt-right movement at which he shouted "Hail Trump!" and audience members apparently gave Nazi salutes. "Auburn is engaging in a thinly disguised ideological litmus test by which those sharing its official views find their rights protected while those who challenge the Auburn views have their right to freedom of speech canceled base [sic] on some anonymous telephone threats".

While the event was marked by tension and confrontation between Spencer's supporters and critics, one woman may have stolen the show with her blunt question.


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