This Brewery Is Offering Free Beer In Exchange For Tickets To Richard Spencer's Florida Event

"We unfortunately can’t stop him from bringing his hate to Gainesville. But we can empty the room so his disgusting message goes unheard."

With White nationalist Richard Spencer's scheduled speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville on October 19 making headlines, one local brewery did all they could to make sure Spencer, who is known for his advocacy for a "White ethno-state," spoke to a room of empty seats.

According to Upworthy, the folks working at Alligator Brewing Company decided to offer people free beer in exchange for a ticket to Spencer's widely-publicized speaking engagement. The local business made the announcement on its Facebook page last week, encouraging the people of Gainesville to fight back against hate and bigotry and stand up for inclusiveness and love instead. 

The post, which you can see in its entirety below, said, "This is our town. This is our home. Let's do this Gainesville."


As you can see, text within the included photo reads, "We unfortunately can't stop him from bringing his hate to Gainesville. But we can empty the room so his disgusting message goes unheard."

For the staff at Alligator Brewing Company, the decision to try and thwart Spencer's speech — the first set of remarks he gave since he helped lead the fatal Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville back in August — was hardly an arbitrary one. Aaron Kahn, Alligator's head brewer and operations manager, told Upworthy that the brewery hoped to use its position in the local community to show Gainesville has no room for intolerance. 

"The thought of putting tickets in the hands of those who may have opposing ideas was already bouncing around town, and we realized we were in a position to up the ante a bit," Kahn told Upworthy.

The decision was bolstered by the fact that Kahn says neighbors and customers he'd spoken with overwhelmingly oppose the event. "Most everyone we spoke to were against [Spencer's] arrival," he adds. "Violence seems to follow him, and his words suggesting that this nation belongs to one race are dangerous."

The threat of violence in the wake of Spencer's speech is one both local and state authorities took seriously. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Alachua County on October 16. And, per The Washington Post, following Spencer's speech and the protests against it, three men were charged with attempted homicide for firing a gun at a group of protesters beside a bus stop. According to police, the men also made Nazi salutes and chanted about Hitler.

Before the speech, Spencer and his team got wind of Alligator Brewing Company's plan and opted to give out 800 free tickets on a first-come, first-served basis instead, as an effort to avoid "sabotage." When asked about Alligator Brewing Company's intent to trade tickets for beer, Spencer told the Miami Herald, "We're going to have a system in place to combat that."

Although Alligator Brewing Company's efforts to discourage attendance at the speech and prevent violence weren't successful, the brewery noted in a Facebook update that, "We have experienced support both here locally and on an international scale. We will continue to support our wonderful, loving community in any way possible."

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