Florida Gov. Rick Scott today declared a state of emergency in a northern state county on the possibility of violence erupting following a conference that White supreme leader Richard Spencer plans to give Thursday in Gainesville.
This measure affecting Alachua County aims to coordinate local law enforcement with other state and federal agencies to ensure the safety of an event that has been surrounded by controversy since before it was held.
The Florida National Guard will be ready to act if other law enforcement agencies need help, according to Florida Interior Ministry sources.
The University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, which agreed to rent a conference room for Spencer’s presentation because he did not do so could be sued for not respecting the First Amendment of the Constitution (freedom of expression), has announced that it will spend $ 500,000 on security, much more than it will receive for rent.
Spencer, who heads the National Police Institute, was the keynote speaker for an act that was to take place Aug. 11 in Charlottesville, Virginia, but was banned by police in the face of the polarization it unleashed.
One person died struck by a supremacist during incidents recorded among Spencer supporters and detractors in Charlottesville.
University of Florida President Kent Fuchs, who has publicly stated that he “abhors” the “hate and racism” distilled white supremacist doctrine, has urged teachers and students not to attend the conference.
The study center will remain open on Thursday, but access to the buildings will be restricted.
Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio has also asked people not to attend Spencer’s conference, which he said on Twitter that he is “desperate” to get publicity.