White Nationalist Richard Spencer's Speech At Auburn Sparks Protests, Arrests

"I think we were certainly successful in doing that", Capt. Lorenza Dorsey with the Auburn Police Division said on Wednesday.

The speech was a lightning rod for controversy both on campus and online, as the "alt-right" leader's past white supremacist rhetoric proved divisive enough to cause Auburn to cancel the event on Friday.

When white supremacist Richard Spencer made a decision to speak at Auburn University despite the safety concerns of students, teachers and staff, he was met with violence as well as tough questions. "There'd be no history without us", he added later.

Students we talked to say they came to promote love and acceptance for everyone.

Student groups organized a concert before the speech in what they called a peaceful counter to Spencer's hate speech.

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The lawyer who fought for Spencer to be allowed to speak is quoted as saying "diversity is not a strength".

Richard Spencer, who describes himself as a racial idealist, spoke to a packed room for about 30 minutes and then took questions from the students. U.S. District Judge Keith Watkin allowed the appeal on Tuesday and ordered Auburn to let Spencer speak. 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.

A booking mug of one of the suspects shows him bloody and bandaged because of a physical altercation between dueling demonstrators before the Tuesday night speech, the website reported. Lawyer Sam Dickson filed the suit on behalf of Cameron Padgett, identified as an Atlanta-area resident who rented an auditorium for Spencer's talk. "While his event isn't affiliated with the university, Auburn supports the constitutional right to free speech". "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.

One woman, however, is making waves on Twitter for peacefully challenging Spencer in the meeting hall itself.

  • Alfonso Moody