Protesters heckle white supremacist during Florida speech
by Leigh Jones
Posted 10/19/17, 04:47 pm
Protesters heckled white supremacist Richard Spencer during his speech at the University of Florida on Thursday, shouting so loudly at times they drowned him out. Obviously irritated, Spencer asked at one point, “Are you adults? It doesn’t look like it.” Several hundred people gathered outside the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to protest Spencer’s appearance. Police almost outnumbered the protesters, a heavy security presence designed to forestall violence. Spencer has events planned at several universities across the country in the coming months and has threatened lawsuits against any campus that refuses to welcome him. The University of Florida estimates security costs for Thursday’s event could top $600,000. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in preparation for Spencer’s visit, putting the state’s National Guard units on standby. Despite the large numbers of protesters, the demonstrations remained peaceful. The theater can accommodate about 800 but a manager said only half the seats were occupied.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.