Gainesville preps for white nationalist rally

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2016 file photo, Richard Spencer, who leads a movement that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism, speaks at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. The Montana-based National Policy Institute, run by Spencer, who popularized the term “alternative right,” is among groups of the white nationalist movement with tax-exempt status. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WESH) — Officials and police in Gainesville say they’re preparing for a white nationalist protest next month even though the University of Florida denied event space for a planned gathering there.

The Gainesville Sun reports that the city commission on Thursday voted to give Mayor Lauren Poe authority to sign an emergency declaration should the Sept. 12 event take place.

The group is planning to file a legal challenge.

Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones says the department is also making plans should the event go on.

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