GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) - A new motion by commissioners in the City of Gainesville gives the mayor blanket authority to call on whatever local, state, or national resources he needs, if things get out of hand during protests.
After Charlottesville erupted in such protests, white supremacists declared Florida the battleground. On Friday, Gainesville was already getting ready. Harvey Ward, a Gainesville City Commissioner created the motion.
"I wanted to make sure Mayor Poe had the ability to act."
Earlier this week, the University of Florida told "alt-right" leader, white supremacist Richard Spencer, he wasn't welcome to speak on campus.
City Commissioners said Spencer may come to town anyway. City leaders voted on a move that gives the city every resource they need to fight violence.
"If they can bring in the national guard and shut down violence that quickly, it's a win-win for all of us," said Stacey Blaze, a parent.
Spencer was planning on speaking at UF on September 12. Even though that was cancelled, protests are still planned. People who live in Gainesville are relieved to head their city is prepared.
Michael Turner, of Gainesville said "I think it's good to be protected if riots started."
Commissioners and the Mayor say they're prepared just in case.