White supremacist Richard Spencer still plans to speak at Auburn University

Posted April 21, 2017

During his speech, Spencer praised the history of the alt-right movement, according to multiple reports. Auburn requested and received assistance from the Montgomery Police Department and Alabama State Troopers.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the university's Foy Hall, watched by police with dogs, as Spencer's supporters joined a packed crowd inside the auditorium, CNN and other outlets said.

Padgett sued Auburn, which as a public institution must adhere to the First Amendment's free speech guarantees.

Supporters and counter protestors clash at Auburn University ahead of a planned speech by white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.

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Citing safety concerns, Auburn canceled the event on Friday.

U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins found in favor of the plaintiff and enjoined Auburn from preventing the speech on the basis of content. "The alt-right is really about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again". For the sake of openness, I must admit that I am a proud alumnus of Auburn University and was one of the founders of its black-alumni association.

Spencer, 38, director of the white nationalist think tank National Policy Institute, has been a target for his radical beliefs.

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".

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"Discussing various ideas and perspectives is part of intellectual development, and we applaud those who did so in the spirit of respect and inclusion, even when faced with offensive views much different from their own", said the statement.

Outside, students and nonstudents rallied against Spencer.

Colleges across the country from the University California, Berkeley, to Texas A&M have been trying to balance free speech and security when controversial speakers appear on campus.

But two days later, the university said it was canceling Spencer's visit "based on legitimate concerns and credible evidence that it will jeopardize the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors".

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