FL state of emergency declared ahead of white nationalist speech

Tedminator

Former Staff
Jun 2010
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South Florida
UF expects $500,000 in security costs for white-supremacist event

GAINESVILLE —Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in advance of a white supremacist’s speech Thursday at the University of Florida — an event that has led the school to spend $500,000 to “enhance security on campus” and in Gainesville. The declaration covers Alachua County through the visit of Richard Spencer. It allows the state to direct resources to the area and to “suspend the effect of any statue, rule or order” that would hinder “action necessary to cope with this emergency.”

Spencer was to be a featured speaker at the August rally in Charlottesville, Va., at which one person died, but authorities stopped that event from taking place after protests and counterprotests turned violent.

The $500,000 that the University of Florida will spend includes money not only for UF police as they keep order during Spencer’s appearance, but also for the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies providing first responders, the university said. All are expected to play a role on or near campus that day.

UF will recoup $10,564 from Spencer’s National Police Institute for the two-hour rental of the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on the southwest corner of the campus, about 2 miles from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. However, it cannot pass along the balance of these costs — enough to pay the annual tuitions of about 75 undergraduate students, according to university estimates — to the institute under a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court free-speech ruling.

Following the white nationalist Charlottesville rally in August, Spencer and the institute requested to rent a facility at UF on Sept. 12. The university originally denied the request, citing the violence from Charlottesville and threats directed toward UF. After Spencer’s group spoke of suing the university under free speech laws, UF switched positions to allow Spencer to rent the space, which often used by visiting speakers. He was neither invited nor sponsored by UF or any of its organizations.

In the days leading up the event, UF organizations and Gainesville businesses have denounced Spencer’s message, and there were few — if any — signs of support around the city. UF Hillel, a nonprofit that serves Jewish students, said it will provide a safe space guarded by security on Thursday and hold a “Solidarity Shabbat” on Friday with other UF organizations “to show unity and strength.”
...snip...


Hopefully no violence.
 
Nov 2014
31,783
6,159
North Carolina
UF expects $500,000 in security costs for white-supremacist event

GAINESVILLE —Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in advance of a white supremacist’s speech Thursday at the University of Florida — an event that has led the school to spend $500,000 to “enhance security on campus” and in Gainesville. The declaration covers Alachua County through the visit of Richard Spencer. It allows the state to direct resources to the area and to “suspend the effect of any statue, rule or order” that would hinder “action necessary to cope with this emergency.”

Spencer was to be a featured speaker at the August rally in Charlottesville, Va., at which one person died, but authorities stopped that event from taking place after protests and counterprotests turned violent.

The $500,000 that the University of Florida will spend includes money not only for UF police as they keep order during Spencer’s appearance, but also for the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies providing first responders, the university said. All are expected to play a role on or near campus that day.

UF will recoup $10,564 from Spencer’s National Police Institute for the two-hour rental of the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on the southwest corner of the campus, about 2 miles from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. However, it cannot pass along the balance of these costs — enough to pay the annual tuitions of about 75 undergraduate students, according to university estimates — to the institute under a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court free-speech ruling.

Following the white nationalist Charlottesville rally in August, Spencer and the institute requested to rent a facility at UF on Sept. 12. The university originally denied the request, citing the violence from Charlottesville and threats directed toward UF. After Spencer’s group spoke of suing the university under free speech laws, UF switched positions to allow Spencer to rent the space, which often used by visiting speakers. He was neither invited nor sponsored by UF or any of its organizations.

In the days leading up the event, UF organizations and Gainesville businesses have denounced Spencer’s message, and there were few — if any — signs of support around the city. UF Hillel, a nonprofit that serves Jewish students, said it will provide a safe space guarded by security on Thursday and hold a “Solidarity Shabbat” on Friday with other UF organizations “to show unity and strength.”
...snip...


Hopefully no violence.
So long as the University (I'm a Gator fan) did not invite or sponsor him I got no real problems with this.

In America - a person's right to rent facilities should not be determined by their political views.
 

Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
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So long as the University (I'm a Gator fan) did not invite or sponsor him I got no real problems with this.
Funny, I was thinking the exact opposite. If they invited him, they're obliged to keep him safe and to see to it he can be heard.

In America - a person's right to rent facilities should not be determined by their political views.
No, but the costs of renting to someone shouldn't exceed the rental fee.
 
Nov 2014
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North Carolina
Funny, I was thinking the exact opposite. If they invited him, they're obliged to keep him safe and to see to it he can be heard.
What do you mean you were thinking the exact opposite?

You believe the University should have invited or sponsored him?

No, but the costs of renting to someone shouldn't exceed the rental fee.
I believe it would have been reasonable for them to deny the rental on the grounds that it placed an undue burden on the University.

But in principle - I see nothing wrong with them allowing him to rent the place so long as they did not invite or sponsor him. People in America should not be denied service on the basis of their political views.
 
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Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
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What do you mean you were thinking the exact opposite.

You believe the University should have invited or sponsored him?
Universities are places for ideas to be heard. I can imagine that a student group might invite him. I don't approve of his ideas, but I don't approve of all the ideas espoused by some college professors either (see Lino Graglia from U of Texas). They have academic freedom so that their unpopular ideas can be heard. I can see a university inviting him to a forum during which many related ideas are discussed.

I said IF someone from campus was allowed to invite him, they should pay for the event. But no one should be allowed to cost a public university money by paying a low rental fee and then requiring 100's of $1000's in costs.
 
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Nov 2014
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Universities are places for ideas to be heard. I can imagine that a student group might invite him. I don't approve of his ideas, but I don't approve of all the ideas espoused by some college professors either (see Lino Graglia from U of Texas). They have academic freedom so that their unpopular ideas can be heard. I can see a university inviting him to a forum during which many related ideas are discussed.

I said IF someone from campus was allowed to invite him, they should pay for the event. But no one should be allowed to cost a public university money by paying a low rental fee and then requiring 100's of $1000's.
I really don't understand what possible relevance white supremacy could have to a student's education. So I would not support the University inviting this speaker or in sponsoring him.

Academic freedom should not mean that a University is obliged to offer up speakers who want to peddle petty and baseless hate in their schools.

But if your point was if they had invited or sponsored them - then yes, I suppose you have a point that they would be obliged to protect him if that were the case. But the OP makes clear that he was not invited or sponsored by the University itself. They are merely allowing him to rent a common space available to any speaker.
 

Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
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USA
I really don't understand what possible relevance white supremacy could have to a student's education. So I would not support the University inviting this speaker or in sponsoring him.

Academic freedom should not mean that a University is obliged to offer up speakers who want to peddle petty and baseless hate in their schools.
I didn't say that they were obliged to at all. Only that they might. Academics do crazy stuff--like playing with bread mold or figuring the orbits of heavenly bodies--that can seem nuts but sometimes leads to helpful outcomes.

But if your point was if they had invited or sponsored them - then yes, I suppose you have a point that they would be obliged to protect him if that were the case. But the OP makes clear that he was not invited or sponsored by the University itself. They are merely allowing him to rent a common space available to any speaker.
Right. Of course, in a sense they ARE inviting him because I'm pretty sure that if a private entity had an auditorium to rent out and they saw that someone was going to cost them many multiples of their rental fee just for security, they'd find a way out of their contract.
 
Nov 2014
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North Carolina
I didn't say that they were obliged to at all. Only that they might. Academics do crazy stuff--like playing with bread mold or figuring the orbits of heavenly bodies--that can seem nuts but sometimes leads to helpful outcomes.

Right. Of course, in a sense they ARE inviting him because I'm pretty sure that if a private entity had an auditorium to rent out and they saw that someone was going to cost them many multiples of their rental fee just for security, they'd find a way out of their contract.
They did originally deny it. The school probably just doesn't wanted to be branded as a place trying to censor ideas. So I have no issues with their decision.

I disagree with you that allowing him to rent the space is the same as inviting him. I don't see it as such.
 

Rasselas

Moderator
Feb 2010
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They did originally deny it. The school probably just doesn't wanted to be branded as a place trying to censor ideas. So I have no issues with their decision.

I disagree with you that allowing him to rent the space is the same as inviting him. I don't see it as such.
The effect of their behavior is the same. They should rent to him only if he's willing to pay all the costs of security. Taxpayers shouldn't have to foot that bill, and denying rental on that basis would be a lot less controversial--except among white nationalists.
 
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Macduff

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Apr 2010
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I really don't understand what possible relevance white supremacy could have to a student's education. So I would not support the University inviting this speaker or in sponsoring him.

Academic freedom should not mean that a University is obliged to offer up speakers who want to peddle petty and baseless hate in their schools.

But if your point was if they had invited or sponsored them - then yes, I suppose you have a point that they would be obliged to protect him if that were the case. But the OP makes clear that he was not invited or sponsored by the University itself. They are merely allowing him to rent a common space available to any speaker.
The worst thing you can do to a guy like Richard Spencer is give him an open forum for his views to be widely heard. When Spencer spoke at Auburn, he said “If I could wave a magic wand, I would absolutely ban football."
He said this at Auburn. In Alabama. In the South. The guy is a tone deaf train wreck.