Richard Spencer University of Florida Speech Triggers State of Emergency

Governor Rick Scott of Florida schedules a state of emergency in Florida County ahead of Richard Spencer Speech

Richard Spencer, University of Florida, UF, Rick Scott, Governor Rick Scott, Florida, Speech, istatetv

Self-described white nationalist and alt right poster child Richard Spencer is scheduled to give a speech at the University of Florida this Thursday, October 19th, 2017.  The speech is already sending shockwaves throughout Florida and the community of Gainesville where the speech will be taking place.

The University of Florida had attempted to prevent Spencer from speaking on the campus but owing to its position as a state institution, it could not do so, even if the speech is deemed to be “hate speech.”

Governor Rick Scott, having seen the results of some of Spencer’s speeches in Alabama, California, Texas, and most notoriously Charlottesville, Virginia, is trying to get ahead of the potential for violence by declaring a state of emergency in the county where the speech will take place.

Scott issued a 7-page executive order in which he outlined plans to enable local and state law enforcement to work the event together.  It also activates the Florida National Guard to assist if needed.

In the order, Scott declared that the “threat of a potential emergency is imminent.”

Scott said, in part, about the order, “We live in a country where everyone has the right to voice their opinion, however, we have zero tolerance for violence and public safety is always our number one priority. I have been in constant contact with Sheriff Darnell who has requested this Executive Order to ensure that county and local law enforcement have every needed resource. This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe.”

The emergence of the alt right has produced the Antifa mantra, “punch a Nazi” and given advocates of “hate speech” legal restrictions more support.  On one hand, complacently allowing the further emergence of a white nationalist groups offers little appeal to those who resist such abominations.  While, on the other hand, opening the door to the state being able to define “hate speech” invites serious restrictions on all manner of speech that can be deemed, depending on the audience, and the particular audience that holds power, as being “hate speech.”

There’s no clear answer, especially in a world where property is in the hands of a coercive enterprise, a ‘state.’  In private property circumstances, nothing would prevent the owner(s) of that property from preventing Richard Spencer from speaking, at least on their property, but in the public property realm, the Richard Spencers of the world can exploit the liberty of others to advance a narrative and a plan that significantly, were it to come to fruition, impede the liberty of others.

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