Richard Spencer attempted to crash a Libertarian conference and was shown the door

Libertarians emphasize private property rights, so crashing their private event was not the smartest idea

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 21, 2017 8:14PM (EST)

 (Courtesy National Policy Institute)
(Courtesy National Policy Institute)

Richard Spencer — the alt right leader who vowed "we're not going away" after Donald Trump won the presidency, was caught leading a Nazi salute for Trump and who got punched in the face at his hero's inauguration — was evicted from the 10th annual International Students for Liberty Conference after trying to crash its party.

"Spencer, a self-declared white nationalist who believes the U.S. is losing its white identity, had no business attending a gathering of libertarian students, and conference organizers had every right to eject him," Robby Soave wrote in Reason Magazine. "Indeed, their decision to do so was a valid exercise of libertarian principles in action."

Soave described how Spencer "set himself up in the bar of the hotel" in Washington D.C. where the event was being held and "attempted to host an unscheduled and unwanted conversation about his despicable views." He was eventually confronted by libertarian pundit Jeffrey Tucker, who "confronted Spencer and made clear to the alt-right provocateur that he 'did not belong' at ISFLC. Some shouting ensued, and hotel staff intervened. Shortly thereafter, Spencer left."

In characteristic libertarian fashion, Soave pointed out that "the Marriott Wardman hotel is private property, and should enjoy the absolute right to evict irksome and unwelcome guests from its premises."

Spencer has naturally availed himself of the opportunity to troll libertarians on his Twitter account. Some of his tweets are included below, although for spatial reasons we have not included all of them.

"Attempts to disrupt the conference, both from the far left and far right, were not entirely unexpected, but the appearance of Mr. Spencer and alt-right activists at the hotel demonstrated the alt-right’s hostility to the ideas of liberty and freedom," said Students for Liberty CEO Wolf von Laer in a statement. "Although we support freedom of speech and thought, we did not invite Mr. Spencer. We reject his hateful message and we wholeheartedly oppose his obsolete ideology."


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Libertarian Party Libertarianism Richard Spencer