Man wearing shirt covered in swastikas gets punched in head outside Richard Spencer speech

Mythili Sampathkumar

A man wearing a shirt with emblazoned with swastikas was punched and spat at outside of Richard Spencer’s speech in Florida.

The smirking man swaggered into the gathered crowd while protesters tried to block his path.

At one point, someone wearing a green hoodie is seen throwing a punch from his right-hand side, which connected with his face and briefly startled the man - who glanced back at his assailant with a flash of anger.

He continued on, and was asked “why are you here?” by those who appeared to oppose Mr Spencer’s white supremacist rhetoric.

Some protesters attempted to come to the man’s aid.

At least one black or African American man was attempting to speak to the man, but it does not look like he responded.

Mr Spencer is a self-proclaimed white nationalist and runs the National Policy Institute, a think tank based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Last night’s University of Florida speech was his first since violence broke out at a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia in mid-August.White supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis comprised the majority of protesters wanting the city to keep a statue of Civil War Confederate General Robert E Lee, on the losing side of America’s bloodiest war, intact in one of the city’s parks.

On the other side were activists from Black Lives Matter, church groups, and community members from the University of Virginia who wanted the statue taken down since they felt it represented a brutal history of slavery and racism.

Three people died in the incident - Virginia State Police troopers Lieutenant H Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke MM Bates as well as counter-protester Heather Heyer.

Mr Spencer told attendees his speech the "the most important free speech event of [their] lifetime".

Much of it was drowned out by jeers and chants of "F*** you Spencer!"

The university had made attempts to block Mr Spencer’s visit to campus but was dissuaded when he threatened to sue them for infringing on his right to free speech.

In light of the violence in Charlottesville, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency and had the state National Guard and special security forces on alert.

Mr Spencer eventually turned his speech into a question and answer format, adding that he was speaking at the university because "we have tremendous support."