Arrested Between Protesters, Supporters of White Supremacist Richard Spencer

Faith Castro
March 8, 2018

Bottles and rocks were also thrown during the skirmishes.

WZZM 13's Amir Abbas is on scene.

The ruckus delayed Spencer's 4:30 p.m. speech by at least 30 minutes.

An outspoken supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign, Spencer rose from relative obscurity after widely circulated videos showed some Trump supporters giving Nazi-style salutes to Spencer during a gathering in Washington to celebrate the Republican candidate's win.

Spencer is a highly controversial figure and often draws massive crowds of both protesters and supporters. Physical confrontations started; fists, elbows and feet were all used as people tumbled to the ground.

"Police in their riot gear came and cleared the road and they now hold that road", Hewett reported. Dozens of police vehicles lined the street near the venue, and protesters at one point lied down on the street to block an armored vehicle moving down the road.

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It's been far from a calm year at Michigan State University. Some officers are carrying tear gas guns.

"There's nothing Richard Spencer stands for that is good", Michael Treeman, 21, of Detroit, told the Detroit Free Press.

"This was really an opportunity for us to strengthen our community and for people to have real positive feelings about who we are in the East Lansing area", said Rabbi Amy Bigman, a leader in the Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing, which sponsored the event. "He doesn't deserve speaking time anywhere. I think Nazis, we had a chance with them, and we figured out we weren't going to do that again".

Erica Mitchell, 29, of Grand Rapids, is an MSU alum who said it sickened her that her school was letting him on campus.

"Hate speech is not free speech, advocating for the destruction or separation of various people based off the color of their skin, and their ethnicity is an abomination and it's abhorred and I don't know why I have to say that but that's why we're here", said Lauren Pepper, a MSU student. "He's not inclusive - he's exclusive". Officials at Michigan State did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (MSU is now on spring break.) A reporter inside the speech reported seeing less than 50 people in attendance. Spencer's group then sued MSU in federal court.

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