11 Dec. 2017
Gainseville, UNITED STATES
A man walks with a bloody lip as demonstrators yell at him outside the location where Richard Spencer, an avowed white nationalist and spokesperson for the so-called alt-right movement, is delivering a speech on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, U.S., October 19, 2017. Shannon Stapleton: "The evening before Richard Spencer was to speak at the University of Florida, I walked around the Gainesville campus. All seemed calm; there were no protests. The area was blanketed by police because Florida's governor had declared a state of emergency to try to prevent violence. Early the next day there was a light presence from both sides. Over time, several hundred people protesting Spencer gathered in a "free speech zone" near where he was speaking. Once his speech began, tensions ran high and a few skirmishes broke out, but overall it was peaceful. I sat to file my photos and suddenly people started running. I grabbed my cameras and followed them. In the midst of an angry crowd stood a man in a shirt printed with swastikas. The atmosphere was vitriolic. He had been punched in the face and was smirking as blood trickled down his chin. He had walked right into the free speech zone and this really physical crowd. I got in there and took my photo as police were trying to escort him out of the zone. People called him pejorative names; some spat at him. It was almost surreal. A black man stepped beside him and guided him out of the crowd and over the barricade, alternately speaking to him and shouting at him. I moved with them and watched as the man went off, seeming to disappear." REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File photo SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.