GAINESVILLE, FL (WCJB/WJXT/CNN) - Protesters are marching against white supremacist Richard Spencer, who is speaking at the University of Florida on Thursday.
Security is immense around campus, and Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.
"By the governor signing the declaration of emergency, it has allowed to us to have other units and things that we might need," said Art Forgey of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
Federal and local officials are bracing for potential protests during Spencer's scheduled speech, which have already begun. Spencer supporters are also present.
University president Kent Fuchs said the school is required by law to allow Spencer to speak on campus, but he advises students and staff to stay away from the event, saying Spencer's ideals aren't part of Gator Nation.
"Our campuses are places where people from all races, origins, and religions are welcomed and are treated with love," Fuch's said.
Spencer denies that he is interested in riling racist tensions.
"I have no interest in doing anything like that. My interest in speaking at the University of Florida, speaking all over the country, is to raise consciousness among whites, among white people," Spencer said.
The university is spending more than half a million dollars on security for spencer's speech, and officials are hoping the event goes on without any major problems.
"Messages of hate on our campus are contrary to our values," Fuchs said.
In August, Spencer and other white supremacists marched in Charlottesville and on the University of Virginia campus. One of the marchers ran his car through a crowd protesting their appearance, killing one woman and injuring dozens.