Two dozen arrested in brawl ahead of Richard Spencer speech

Hundreds march at Michigan State to protest Richard Spencer's speech
Fights Break Out, People Arrested Before Richard Spencer's MSU Speech

08 March, 2018

Two armored police vehicles were spotted at the scene also. The second defendant was charged with two counts of resisting and obstructing police.

White nationalists clash with counter-demonstrators before the start of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer, who popularized the term "alt-right", at Michigan State University on March 5, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (MSU is now on spring break.) A reporter inside the speech reported seeing less than 50 people in attendance.

All it took was one lunge and white nationalist supporters of Spencer and Antifa protesters went at each other.

"What happened outside was really worrisome and heinous", Spencer said.

Police say at least a dozen people were arrested Monday. Verbal clashes ensued and punches were thrown as police began taking people into custody.

"Hate speech is not free speech, advocating for the destruction or separation of various people based off the color of their skin, and their ethnicity is an abomination and it's abhorred and I don't know why I have to say that but that's why we're here", said Lauren Pepper, a MSU student. "We chased them away".

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The university said it'll continue to consider a request from Spencer's representatives to look for dates later this year.

MSU Police Capt. Doug Monette confirmed several arrests were made but didn't provide a total number, Michigan Live reported.

Spencer's group sued and both sides agreed to let Spencer speak inside the pavilion after being ordered to mediation by a federal judge.

Monette said his number one concern was maintaining safety on campus.

Spencer, the 39-year-old firebrand leader of the "alternative-right" movement, billed the event on YouTube as one that would do more than just discuss alt-right ideas, but instead "talk about where we're going and what we ultimately want". In 2013, he called for a "peaceful ethnic cleansing" at a conference hosted by a white nationalist publication, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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