White nationalist wants to speak on KSU anniversary
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — White nationalist Richard Spencer wants to speak at Kent State University on the anniversary of the fatal Vietnam protest shootings, the school confirmed today, the same day he was approved to speak at Michigan State University in March.
Spencer, a leading figure in the white nationalist movement, and his associates have sought to speak at universities across the country, leading to lawsuits and battles over the fundamental right to free speech at public universities.
Michigan State ended months of legal wrangling today by agreeing to allow Spencer to speak March 5 during spring break. But he'll be at the livestock pavilion auditorium, away from the heart of campus.
The deal settles a lawsuit filed when Michigan State cited public safety and refused to rent space.
Under the agreement, Michigan State is paying $27,000 for tour organizer Cameron Padgett's legal fees while he must come up with at least $2 million in liability insurance.
In Ohio, a Kent State spokesman said Padgett has asked to rent space at Kent State's Student Multicultural Center on May 4.
Kent State would only say that it's reviewing the request, said Eric Mansfield, a school spokesman.
The request for space at Kent State is for the date when, in 1970, Ohio National Guard members fired into a crowd protesting the Vietnam war and killed four students. Each year, the school remembers the shootings with events on campus.