Richard Spencer protestors freedom of expression called into question

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GAINESVILLE, Fla -- First free speech was called into question, now freedom of expression.

The University of Florida and its police department are banning a long list of items during protests against white nationalist Richard Spencer next week, but some civil right groups in Gainesville said these restrictions violate free speech.

Florida Legal Services (FLS) and Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) represent a group on campus organizing one of the protests called "No Nazi's at UF".

The groups staff attorneys sent a letter to UF Tuesday saying the ban is problematic in many ways.

There are many items being prohibited including masks, purses, water bottles of any kind, and megaphones.

"Any other day at UF you're allowed to have amplified sound as part of a demonstration so there's been a decision by UF to unreasonably restrict first amendment rights on this particular day," said Andrea Costello, a Staff Attorney for FLS.

Costello said the list of restrictions is too vague and doesn't say how or where law enforcement will enforce the ban.

"There's a danger that when police are coming out on that day when Spencer is here that they can pick and choose people that they want to enforce this prohibited items list against based on their political beliefs," she said.

UF is reviewing the groups letter and told TV20 Wednesday... "prohibited items areas for this event will be clearly marked, similar to other events on campus, such as sporting events....Additionally, all laws and regulations concerning prohibited items generally across campus remain in effect as well..."

Both groups said if UF does not clarify these restrictions that they are prepared to seek legal action.