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Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Richard Spencer: Small Crowd and Arrests

Richard Spencer: Small Crowd and Arrests

Ahead of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer, hundreds of people gathered for a rowdy protest at Michigan State University.

Economics senior Rahul Pillai attended the protest and said the university's decision to hold the event during spring break had an impact on the number of attendees.

Some demonstrators threw rocks, fruit, and water bottles at people entering the rally.

It's not the first time a protest like this has broken out.

Spencer, an outspoken supporter of Trump during the 20-16 campaign, rose out of relative obscurity after widely circulated videos showed some Trump supporters giving Nazi-style salutes to him during a gathering in Washington to celebrate the Republican candidate's electoral win.

Police protected both sides from each other and were heckled for it. Physical confrontations started; fists, elbows and feet were all used as people tumbled to the ground. Two armored police vehicles were spotted at the scene also.

It's been far from a calm year at Michigan State University. Some officers were carrying tear gas guns, although it did not appear that any gas was deployed.

Katie Kuhn of Lansing led some anti-Spencer chants.

"There's nothing Richard Spencer stands for that is good", Michael Treeman, 21, of Detroit, told the Detroit Free Press. One man said he was on the fence about Spencer as a person but came out of the speech with a better understanding. She says there's too much "hate and fear". "He's not inclusive - he's exclusive".

Media representatives for the university could not immediately be reached for comment. Spencer was granted permission to speak after suing the university which is now on Spring break. Spencer's group then sued MSU in federal court.

"The ideas that they espouse: genocide, white supremacy, fascism, are anti-American and unsafe to our people, to our nation, to Americans", he said.

A space inside the pavilion is being rented by Spencer's group, which describes itself on its website as a "central and indispensable component of the global Alt-Right".

Spencer, the 39-year-old firebrand leader of the "alternative-right" movement, billed the event on YouTube as one that would do more than just discuss alt-right ideas, but instead "talk about where we're going and what we ultimately want".

MSU Police Capt. Doug Monette confirmed several arrests were made but didn't provide a total number, Michigan Live reported.

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