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More than 100 people gather at Michigan State University to protest Richard Spencer

Protesters against Richard Spencer at MSU
Cheyna Roth
Michigan Radio
Protesters gather near Michigan State University's livestock pavillion, where white supremacist is scheduled to speak Monday evening.

The outskirts of Michigan State University’s campus were flooded with protesters Monday. Police estimate more than 150 people showed up to demonstrate against white supremacist Richard Spencer. Some say they were there because they wanted to show up against fascism.

MSU originally denied Spencer’s request to speak on campus. As a compromise, after Spencer filed a lawsuit, the school agreed to rent him a livestock pavilion. The university is currently on spring break.

Olivia Franklin is a senior at MSU. She says she wants people to recognize how serious the issue of white supremacy is today. 

"This big event and us being here, although it’s bringing attention to Richard Spencer, it’s bringing attention to ‘Wow this is still a thing, we should work to stop that.’”

Riot police
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Police monitored the protest, drawing complaints and jeers from those gathered.

Ian Wendrow is a recent MSU graduate. He carried a wooden sign he made with his father. It’s a red and black flag with a Star of David in the middle.

“My grandparents escaped from the Nazis, and so more or less just showing that you’ve tried, you’ve failed. I’m still here, we’re always going to be here.”

Spencer is scheduled to start speaking at 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. Protesters began to gather around noon across the street from the pavilion.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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