Gainesville, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - White nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at the University of Florida campus amid tight security and counter protests. Spencer's speech began at 2:30 p.m. EST and his group the National Policy Institute distributed tickets for the event.
Richard Spencer has left the school's campus, as confirmed via the University of Florida's Public Safety Twitter.
Update: Richard Spencer event has concluded and he has left the University of Florida campus.— UF Public Safety (@UFPublicSafety) October 19, 2017
Last night, law enforcement from all over the state packed the college community with officers visible on nearly every block around the UF campus by sundown.
Many downtown businesses closed early Wednesday amidst rumors of early protests and marches and the city put a weapons ban into effect across the area. The county also launched their 311 rumor control hotline to calm any unfounded fears during the tense day to come.
Those rumors of marches didn’t come true, but instead Wednesday brought quieter protests across the community as residents called for unity.
Many churches and community centers held vigils to pray for peace and some students even gathered outside of the Phillips Center, where Spencer will speak today, to unite against his ideologies early.
Many residents said Wednesday that they do not plan to attend the protests outside of Spencer’s speech today, but thousands have vowed to show up.