Auburn University is on edge about a speech Tuesday night by white nationalist Richard Spencer, whose inflammatory comments about race and religion have sparked protests at other schools where he has appeared.
Supporters and opponents engaged in shouting marches beforehand, and photos showed a man with a bloody face after a physical altercation outside. All three were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct.
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. But she said that she is "super-concerned for safety" due to the divisive nature of Spencer's views. Spencer paid $700 to speak at James E. Foy Hall on Auburn's campus, as can anyone who wishes, because the school is funded with taxpayer money.
Students we talked to say they came to promote love and acceptance for everyone.
Auburn had previously canceled Tuesday evening's appearance by Mr. Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, amid fears his presence would trigger potentially violent protests.
"Auburn University supports the rights and privileges afforded by the First Amendment".
The university initially approved Spencer's hall rental, but tried to cancel the event after critics warned that it would incite violence and endanger student safety, according to WSFA-TV.
Tuesday afternoon April 18th a Judge issued a restraining order against Auburn Universitie's efforts to stop Spencer from speaking.
When white supremacist Richard Spencer chose to speak at Auburn University despite the safety concerns of students, teachers and staff, he was met with violence as well as tough questions.
According to the April 18 complaint, the university had agreed to rent the auditorium at James E. Foy Hall to plaintiff Cameron Padgett "for the objective of providing a forum for Richard Spencer". It is now more important than ever that we respond in a way that is peaceful, respectful, and maintains civil discourse.
Following the talk, Spencer took to Twitter to exclaim, "Amazing victory tonight!"