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White nationalist tour organizer sues university over security costs


The University of Cincinnati has been hit with a lawsuit from the team behind white nationalist Richard Spencer’s campus tour for allegedly violating free speech rights.

Cameron Padgett, Spencer’s tour organizer, filed the federal lawsuit Monday, according to The Associated Press, alleging that the university required an $11,000 security fee be paid in order for Spencer to speak on campus.

The lawsuit accuses university President Neville Pinto of “de facto censorship” by demanding Spencer’s team front security costs and seeks $2 million in damages. Padgett blames “violent left-of-center political terrorists” for the security costs.


“If security costs could be passed on … by universities to event organizers who espouse politically right-of-center political ideas,” the lawsuit alleges, “then such would result in de facto censorship insofar as fewer — or no — right-of-center political events could occur on American college campuses due to the massive security costs.”

Spencer’s campus appearances have been highly controversial and have prompted widespread protests that have raised safety concerns. The University of Florida, last year, estimated that it would spend $600,000 on security costs for Spencer’s event, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) declared a countywide state of emergency ahead of Spencer’s appearance.

Spencer, a prominent “alt-right” leader, was a speaker at the Charlottesville, Va., “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally where one counterprotester was killed last summer.

The lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati is one of several that Spencer’s team has filed against universities for denying Spencer space to speak.

Tags Alt right Richard Spencer university of cincinnati

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