Richard Spencer hasn’t even given his speech at the University of Florida before Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.
The intention of the executive order is to help law enforcement be able to respond to the rallies scheduled on Thursday.
Gov. Scott warned that “threat of a potential emergency is imminent” where the University of Florida is located.
In August, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Richard Spencer led hundreds of white supremacists, white nationalists and others on a march chanting, “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us”. There was brief violence after fights with counterprotesters worsened after a guy drove a car into a crowd at a “Unite the Right” rally.
Following the violence, a state of emergency in Virginia was declared.
Washington Post reports:
In the days afterward, the University of Florida told Spencer he could not hold an event he had planned on campus. After his supporters and a lawyer questioned that decision on First Amendment grounds, the school allowed Spencer to schedule his speech and question-and-answer session for Thursday.
University officials have done extensive planning for the event and said they intend to spend $500,000 on security.
The governor’s executive order will allow local law enforcement officials to work with state and other agencies. Scott is also activating the Florida National Guard to help if needed.