White nationalist Spencer speaks at Auburn

Suit seeks OK for white nationalist speech at Auburn

An alabama federal judge has ordered Auburn University to permit white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak Tuesday night.

Supporters and opponents engaged in shouting marches beforehand, and photos showed a man with a bloody face after a physical altercation outside.

Capt. Lorenza Dorsey, an Auburn police spokesman, says three people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges before Spencer's speech Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday barred Auburn from blocking Spencer, stating there was no evidence that he advocates violence. The University of California Berkeley canceled an appearance by provocateur Milo Yiannpoulous after protesters caused $100,000 worth of damage to its campus and threw fireworks, rocks and molotov cocktails at buildings and police.

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You might remember Spencer from when he was punched in the face at Donald Trump's inauguration, or you might recall that he is credited with coming up with the term "alt-right" as a way of mainstreaming and intellectualizing white nationalism. Spencer took to social media, promising he would speak on the campus regardless. Metal detectors and bag checkers were set up at the entrance to Foy for all attending Spencer's speech, and Auburn Fire Division personnel were counting those coming in to ensure the room was not over occupancy. "However, when the tenets of free speech are overshadowed by threats to the safety of our students, faculty and staff, we have a responsibility to protect our campus", the Provost's Office said in a statement.

Cameron Padgett, who rented the auditorium for the event, sued the university on First Amendment grounds.

University administrators published a statement Tuesday indicating they would comply with the judge's order, but said that Spencer attempted to stoke conflict on the campus in a way that is "divisive and disruptive". The suit claimed the university violated free-speech rights by trying to stop Spencer's appearance.

Following the talk, Spencer took to Twitter to exclaim, "Amazing victory tonight!"

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