Protests Rage Around Richard Spencer's Michigan State Appearance

Frederick Owens
March 8, 2018

Spencer blamed the low attendance at his talk on the protests.

Police say two dozen people, including protesters and Spencer supporters, have been arrested on charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

One of those arrested was Jonathan Kolanowski, a supporter of Spencer who allegedly pointed a gun at protesters. Some people were hit by rocks, water bottles and other objects, and police confirmed there was a report of an unknown chemical substance thrown into the crowd.

Students were away from campus for spring break, but some remained to protest, along with a group who marched toward police in riot gear before the event began.

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WKAR's Katie Cook reports counter-protesters are waiting for the speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer to finish.

Police had blocked off the area close to the venue, the Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education. One man said he was on the fence about Spencer as a person but came out of the speech with a better understanding. "I think this shows that Lansing and Mid-Michigan will not stand for Spencer and his followers to recruit in our backyard". The university is now on spring break. Officials at Michigan State did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Spencer's group sued and both sides agreed to let Spencer speak inside the pavilion after being ordered to mediation by a federal judge. Spencer said at least 150 tickets for the event were handed out, but less than 50 people attended the meeting. Alt-right generally refers to the modern white nationalist movement, which has an explicitly racist and antisemitic ideology and argues for the creation of a white state.

Monette said his number one concern was maintaining safety on campus.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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