Protests begin ahead of Richard Spencer event

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GAINESVILLE, Fla -- White nationalist Richard Spencer is going to speak at the University of Florida on Thursday. Meanwhile protestors criticized the university Monday for allowing him to come to campus.

Around 100 protestors took to the Plaza of the Americas around 10:30 AM to denounce President Fuchs' decision.

The group No Nazis on Campus organized the event.

"The free speech of this Nazi sympathizer and the people who are coming with him to wreak havoc on our little town are no more important than our rights of the citizens of this town," said one woman at the event.

The protestors called for UF to reverse its decision, to protect the community, and not white nationalism.

"Block out Nazi's, not students," the group chanted.

The group then took their voice to Tigert Hall, and demanded President Fuchs speak to them on the steps of the administration building. Instead, a university representative met them head on.

'We request that you significantly restrict the prohibited items list to only include items that include items of danger to the community," said an organizer named Chad to the representative.

The group asked for water bottles and backpacks to be allowed during protests, but UF did not change that prohibited items list as of Monday.

"There's this lie, like I'm coming to bully black people or something. I have zero interest in that. My interest in speaking at the University of Florida and all over the country is to raise consciousness among whites, among white people," said Richard Spencer to TV20 over the phone.

Spencer said he has no interest in inciting violence, instead encouraged controversial speech.

"We have to deal with Antifa and other thug elements that want to suppress free speech," he said.

Neither group is calling for violence, but one the organizers of the No Nazis on Campus group said he'll support protestors if they need to fight back in self defense.