Saturday 21 September 2019

This brewery is protesting against a Richard Spencer event with free beer

The Alt-right speaker is holding an event at Florida university.

Glasses clink in front of a stop sign(zoff-photo/Getty/PA)
Glasses clink in front of a stop sign(zoff-photo/Getty/PA)

By Taylor Heyman

A brewery in Florida is offering patrons free beer if they hand over two tickets to Richard Spencer’s planned event at Florida University, Gainsville.

Alligator Brewing announced last week that those who handed in two tickets (which were free) to the Richard Spencer event, which takes place on Thursday, would be given a free craft beer. Those tickets would be destroyed, leaving empty seats in the auditorium.

In a post shared by the company on social media, it said: “We unfortunately can’t stop him from bringing his hate to Gainesville, but we can empty the room so his disgusting message goes unheard.”

Richard Spencer, 39, is a white nationalist who runs the far-right National Policy Institute. He has spoken of a desire to create a “white ethno-state” in the US, and speeches of his have ended with people making Nazi salutes toward him.

The university itself said it could not legally stop the talk going ahead, as Spencer rented the venue for $10,000. He was not invited by a student or society to appear, but the university will be required to pay for security at the venue, which is expected to total $600,000.

However, the university’s president, W Kent Fuchs, shared a message on youTube asking students and staff to stay away from the event.

Students at the University have spread a message of unity ahead of the approaching talk, using the hashtag #TogetherUF.

Fearing a repetition of the events in Charlottesville in August, which resulted in the death of activist Heather Heyer, Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency.

Rick Scott’s executive order stated: “I find that the threat of a potential emergency is imminent.”

It seems the brewery’s stunt has got the attention of Spencer himself. According to the Miami Herald, his National Policy Institute announced it would give out 800 of the free tickets on a first-come-first served basis at the venue on Thursday itself in a effort to fill seats.

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