Is Free Speech In A 'State Of Emergency'?

Oct 19, 2017
Originally published on October 19, 2017 3:31 pm

White nationalist Richard Spencer plans to speak at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Thursday. In response, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.

We live in a country where everyone has the right to voice their opinion, however, we have zero tolerance for violence and public safety is always our number one priority. I have been in constant contact with Sheriff Darnell who has requested this Executive Order to ensure that county and local law enforcement have every needed resource. This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe.

Some college students are furiously asserting their right to hear from any speaker they want. Others are equally furious about shouting down hateful voices.

How do universities uphold the First Amendment and keep students safe?


Sanford Ungar, Director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University; @SanfordUngar

Angus Johnston, Professor of history, the City University of New York; historian of American student activism and student life; @studentactivism

Danya Abdelhameid, Senior at the College of William and Mary; activist with Black Lives Matter W&M

Naweed Tahmas, Senior at UC Berkeley; Vice President of the Berkeley College Republicans

Mitch Emerson, Co-organizer behind “No Nazis in UF,” protesting Richard Spencer’s appearance in Gainsville

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