Violence erupts at white nationalist Richard Spencer's Michigan State University speech

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP/WXYZ) - An appearance at Michigan State University by white nationalist Richard Spencer during spring break has drawn large protests and violence.

Police arrested 24 people during the protests. Violence erupted on both sides,  Spencer supporters and protesters threw punches and pushed each other in the crowd. Officers dragged protestors out of the fray.

There were several weapons recovered during the arrests. 

Hundreds of officers were on hand, included armored cars, helicopter patrols, mounted police and bicycle police.

Many protesters had their faces covered with masks and clothes, some were protesting the police presence as well as the Spencer supporters.  

A deal signed in January said Spencer could appear on March 5. But he'll be at the livestock pavilion auditorium, away from the heart of campus.

Spencer ally Cameron Padgett had to pay $1,650 and come up with at least $2 million in liability insurance. MSU arranged for police.

The deal settled a lawsuit that was filed after MSU last summer cited public safety and refused to rent space. Padgett said the school was violating free speech rights.

Spencer popularized the term "alt-right" to refer to a fringe movement that's a mix of white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration beliefs.

Under the deal, MSU is paying $27,400 for Padgett's legal fees.

Print this article Back to Top