Blog Briefing Room

White nationalist Richard Spencer speech ends amid protests

Richard Spencer
Getty Images
Richard Spencer

Richard Spencer defended his white nationalist views at the University of Florida on Thursday, in a raucous event filled with protesters.
The University of Florida’s Public Safety Twitter account wrote at 4:17 p.m. that the event was over and that Spencer left the campus.


One audience member asked Spencer to reply to those who use his views and rhetoric to commit violence.

“My question is how do you respond to people who feel that you should take responsibility for the actions of others that use your words,” the woman asked. 

But Spencer cut her off, demanding she name “a single instance” where this occurred, to which she cited the August attack at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one person dead and others injured when a car rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters.

For much of the speech, audible yelling could be heard from protesters inside the event. Video uploaded by a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times shows a police officer standing before the crowd as the audience shouts and Spencer attempts to speak over the noise. 

Spencer during the course of his appearance did discuss Charlottesville, describing the actions of local authorities as an attack on free speech.

“Charlottesville too was a major test of free speech,” Spencer said to the crowd.

“And something very important was revealed to us at Charlottesville, and that is that the civic authorities, Mike Signer, pre-eminently, are willing to use the power of the police force in order to stifle free speech,” he added, referring to Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer.

At one point, protesters drowned him out with chants of “go home Spencer,” according to a video uploaded by a reporter for The Huffington Post.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) earlier this week had declared a state of emergency in Alachua County before the event.

The university reportedly estimated that it would spend about $600,000 on security for the speech.

Updated: 11:25 p.m.

Tags Richard Spencer University of Florida

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video