Three arrested at white nationalist Richard Spencer's Auburn vis - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Three arrested at white nationalist Richard Spencer's Auburn visit

(Source: Lee County Jail) (Source: Lee County Jail)
(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
3 people arrested in Richard Spencer protests. (Source: Eagle Eye TV) 3 people arrested in Richard Spencer protests. (Source: Eagle Eye TV)

AUBURN, AL (AP/WTVM) - Three people have been arrested Tuesday evening after a fight in front of Auburn University's Foy Auditorium as a federal judge allowed white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus.

Those arrested are identified as Ryan Matthew King, 38; Benjamin Lee Hansen, 19; and Seth Miles Waldon, 27. Each is charged with disorderly conduct for fighting. The charge is a misdemeanor.

None of the three is from Auburn or attends Auburn University.

Watch this video sent to WTVM of a fight, which later led to several arrests being made.

Richard Spencer's controversial speech

The scene inside the auditorium was at times tense but remained peaceful throughout Richard Spencer's speech.

The 45-minute talk was followed by questions from the audience, many challenging the opinions shared by Spencer.

Spencer shared in his speech that he believes the white race is in a civil war and said that he was willing to own slavery because he understands white power.

Hundreds of Auburn students and community members have been on their feet for hours hoisting signs chanting their opinions against alt right speaker Richard Spencer and the hundreds who went inside Foy Hall to hear him speak.

The protestors standing on the other side of the barricade - way before the doors to the event were open. At the same time, those supporting Richard Spencer and his views making their voices heard. Not just them, members of what is known as the Antifascist Group, or Antifa, protesting Spencer's appearance in Auburn.

Signs expressing a rejection of hate on campus - at one point, if you see in the video, I ran to the scene of the only fist fight that broke out all afternoon.

Seth Miles Walden, Benjamin Lee Hansen and Ryan Matthew King were arrested for disorderly conduct.

WATCH LIVE: Tower cam video of protesters in Auburn.

The Court ruling from a federal judge

A federal judge ruled Auburn University must let white nationalist Richard Spencer speak on campus.

A lawyer involved in the case on Spencer's side, Sam Dickson, says the decision by U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins means Spencer can appear at the student union as originally planned Tuesday night at Auburn University's Foy Auditorium.

The ruling came during a hearing in a lawsuit challenging Auburn's refusal to let the talk occur. Dickson filed the suit on behalf of Cameron Padgett, identified as an Atlanta-area resident who rented an auditorium for Spencer's talk.

Both Spencer supporters and opponents are expected to attend, and police say they're establishing a protest zone.

Auburn University on the controversial speech

Auburn University has released the following statement:

Dear Auburn Family,

Over the past week, Auburn University has faced attempts by uninvited, unaffiliated, off-campus groups and individuals to provoke conflict that is racially divisive and disruptive to our campus environment. Whether it's offensive rhetoric, offensive flyers around campus, or inappropriate remarks on social media, we will not allow the efforts of individuals or groups to undermine Auburn's core values of inclusion and diversity and challenge the ideals personified by the Auburn Creed.

Auburn University supports the rights and privileges afforded by the First Amendment. However, when the tenets of free speech are overshadowed by threats to the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, we have a responsibility to protect our campus and the men and women who unite our academic community. The decision to cancel the Richard Spencer event last week was informed by leadership from all of the university's shared governance groups and the Auburn Police Division, all of whom articulated legitimate concerns for the safety and security of our campus.

This afternoon, a federal judge ruled that Auburn must allow Spencer to speak in the Foy Auditorium tonight. It is now more important than ever that we respond in a way that is peaceful, respectful, and maintains civil discourse. We are aware that various campus groups have planned events for this evening. Please know that additional security measures are being taken by the Auburn Police Division to uphold the safety of our community.

The Provost's Office will support requests from faculty and students to miss classes this evening.

Respectfully,

Timothy R. Boosinger,

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Taffye Benson Clayton

Associate Provost and Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity

Spencer previously made news by addressing a far-right gathering where audience members gave a Nazi salute.

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