White nationalist Spencer speaks at Auburn; 3 arrested
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — White nationalist Richard Spencer spoke in a crowded auditorium at Auburn University on Tuesday after a federal judge blocked the school from banning his appearance.
Only a few chairs were empty in the more than 400-seat room as Spencer and other speakers railed against ethnicity and racial diversity, liberals, the media and more. They say they want to promote white pride.
Spencer previously made news by addressing a far-right gathering where audience members gave a Nazi salute.
Supporters and opponents engaged in shouting marches beforehand. Auburn police spokesman Capt. Lorenza Dorsey said three people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges.
Video posted online shows two men scuffling outside the building where Spencer spoke, with one suffering a facial cut and bleeding afterward. Officers led both men away, and one woman also was handcuffed.
A judge cleared the way for Spencer’s speech after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by a Georgia man who rented the room where he spoke. The suit claimed the university violated free-speech rights by trying to stop Spencer’s appearance.
Auburn officials cited public safety concerns in trying to stop Spencer from appearing in the student union building.