Tensions high, arrests made at Michigan protests over white nationalist’s visit

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EAST LANSING, MI – MARCH 05: Demonstrators clash with police before the start of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer, who popularized the term ‘alt-right’, at Michigan State University on March 5, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. Spencer was granted permission to speak after suing the university which is currently on Spring break. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Protesters have clashed with police and supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer during his visit to Michigan State University.

Police say at least a dozen people were arrested Monday. Michigan State allowed Spencer to appear, but the venue was an auditorium at a remote end of campus.

Students are on spring break. But hundreds of protesters turned out, shouting profanities at Spencer supporters and police. Officers formed lines outside the auditorium to try to keep the peace and protect people who had tickets as they entered the event. The officers wore helmets and clutched batons.

Spencer popularized the term “alt-right” to refer to a fringe movement that’s a mix of white nationalist and anti-Semitic beliefs.

Katie Kuhn of Lansing led some anti-Spencer chants. She says there’s too much “hate and fear.”

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