Officials and police in Gainesville said they are preparing for a white nationalist protest next month, even though the University of Florida denied event space for a planned gathering there.

The city commission voted on Thursday to give Mayor Lauren Poe authority to sign an emergency declaration should the Sept. 12 event take place.

University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs on Wednesday said the school had denied a request for event space from white nationalist Richard Spencer’s group, National Policy Institute. He cited concerns of violence days after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead.

The group is planning to file a legal challenge.

Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones said the department is also making plans should the event go on.

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