The Latest: White nationalist Spencer speaks at Auburn

AP News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2017 8:36 PM

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on white nationalist Richard Spencer speaking at Auburn University (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

White nationalist Richard Spencer spoke in a crowded auditorium at Auburn University after a federal judge blocked the school from banning his appearance.

Only a few chairs were empty in a more than 400-seat room Tuesday night as Spencer and other speakers railed against ethnicity and racial diversity, liberals, the media and more. They say they want to promote white pride.

Supporters and opponents engaged in shouting marches beforehand, and photos showed a man with a bloody face after a physical altercation outside.

Officers led at least one person away, but details weren't immediately available.

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. The suit claimed the university violated free-speech rights by trying to stop Spencer's appearance.

Auburn officials cited public safety concerns in trying to stop Spencer from appearing in the student union building.

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11:30 a.m.

An attorney is asking a federal court to clear the way for a white nationalist to speak at Auburn University.

A request filed Tuesday claims school officials violated free-speech rights by reversing a decision to let Richard Spencer appear at the student union. The suit was filed on behalf of a man who says he rented the auditorium where Spencer planned to speak.

The university says it canceled Spencer's appearance because of safety concerns.

Spencer previously made news by addressing a far-right gathering where audience members gave a Nazi salute. His appearances often draw critics.

Spencer says he plans to speak at Auburn on Tuesday evening regardless of the school's decision. Both supporters and opponents are trying to draw crowds through social media.

Auburn police say they're monitoring the situation.