Speaking just a few hours before the scheduled speech by White Supremacist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida, university president Dr. Kent Fuchs defended his decision to keep the campus open and the more than $500,000 in security costs planned to keep the campus safe. "But at the end of the day free speech needs to be protected", he said.
Demonstrators plan to gather outside the performing arts centre where Mr Spencer is scheduled to speak from 14:30 local time (1830 GMT).
Spencer called himself "Hurricane Ricardo", giving himself an insensitive nickname more than a month after Hurricane Irma devastated vast swaths of the Sunshine State, killing more than a dozen people in a nursing homes and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in property damages.
According to an AP report, Fuchs has estimated an additional $600,000 cost - which will be shouldered by taxpayers who support the public institution - to host Spencer on campus later today, and said "taxpayers are subsidizing hate speech". "We don't want your Nazi hate", the protesters chanted, pounding drums and carrying signs championing diversity.
Some classes close to the speech venue will be cancelled, the college said.
Weapons are banned, along with a wide range of other items, including water bottles, masks, shields and hats.
"I fully understand freedom of speech can not be burdened legally with the full cost of this, but on the other hand we're being burdened", said Fuchs, sitting in his office on campus in Gainesville.
"If you choose to protest, it is imperative that you utilise sound judgment with every action that you take and not be provoked to resort to violence", the club said in a statement.
"There's no question that he is a terrorist leader and that his followers look to commit acts of terror to disrupt our community", Mr Poe told the Huffington Post, adding that "it's clear they look to descend upon communities, harm people and then leave, and those are the acts of terrorists".
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