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Florida Attorney General: Just Say No to Richard Spencer Appearance

October 17th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
The planned appearance of white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida continues to evoke emotion at the State Capitol.
 
“I would urge all students not to go to that. There’s no place for hatred and espousing these horrible, horrible views,” said Attoney General Pam Bondi.
 
How students will react to the controversial speaker is a concern.
 
A Brookings Institute study found a bare majority of 51% of college students think it’s okay to shout and drown out speech they find offensive.
At FSU we got a similar response.
 
“I think you should listen to what anyone has to say and then wait with your rebuttal,” saoid FSU student Karl Roche.
 
“Yeah, you can shout over someone that’s exercising their free speech. I mean, it’s not cool,” said FSU student Serfina Cruz. 
 
More shockingly, the Brookings Study found 1 out of 5 students agreed violence was okay to use against offensive  speakers.
 
All of the students we interviewed say they disagreed with using violence. But none of were surprised by how many had answered yes in the survey.
“I mean obviously there’s going to be a split between people so some people are going to think violence is the answer,” said FSU student Alexandra Marcus. 
Ahead of Spencer’s planned UF visit, Governor Rick Scott Declared a state of emergency to protect students.
 
“I believe in the first amendment rights that people have. I do expect people to be safe. I wont condone any violence,” said Governor Scott. 
 
Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Rick Swearingen will be in Gainesville, overseeing law enforcement operations.
 
“Those who show up to exercise their constitutional right under the first amendment, they will have no issues. Those who show up to engage or encourage violence, they’re going to have problems,” said Sweringen. 
 
Protests have already begun being held on UF’s campus ahead of Spencer’s appearance.
The Brookings study also found that six out of ten students believe event organizers are legally required to provide opposing viewpoints. No such law exists.

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