Jacksonville - White nationalists were at UNF to show support for a student recently suspended by the school for making perceived threats on social media. We told you last week, self-described Nazi, Ken Parker was suspended by the school after the posts. In one of the posts, Parker can be seen holding a gun and sporting a swastika tattoo. According to the university 4 white nationalist showed up to support Parker.
"I'm honored that the white nationalists are standing on my behalf," Parker said.
A group of counter protestors were on campus as well to denounce the white nationalists and call for the suspension of Ken Parker to be upheld. Parker is appealing the school’s decision to suspend him and he says if he doesn’t win his appeal, he will sue the school. The counter-protestors hoped to outnumber the white nationalist and they did. The school says media reported between 50 and 80 counter-protestors were at the rally. A student group from UNF called the Students for a Democratic Society chanted and called on the university’s president, John Delaney, to uphold Parker’s suspension.
The university beefed up security on campus, and around the building where the appeal hearing took place, before and during the protests. Police officers surrounded the building and were checking peoples names as they drove into the parking lot. Police were taking the potential friction between the two groups seriously.
A look at the police presence outside of Alumni Hall at #UNF police are also at the front door of the building and the sides. Drive with caution, police are blocking lanes along Kernan near First Coast Technology PKWY. @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/oN4x7LAY3Y— Steven Ponson (@steven_ponson) November 20, 2017
Before the event the university urged both protests to be peaceful and both groups were peaceful. No violence was reported between the two.
Students for a Democratic Society leaving the lawn of Alumni Hall following Ken Parker’s suspension appeal. White Nationalists were across the street. No violence reported. pic.twitter.com/nyZw5DkHIJ— Steven Ponson (@steven_ponson) November 20, 2017
The school says they will notify Parker of the schools appeal decsion sometime Monday afternoon or Tuesday.