75 people gather in protest of UNF student; handful in support

UNF student Ken Parker, a former KKK member, was suspended for posting a controversial photo.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- About 75 people came out in protest of Ken Parker, the UNF political science student who posted a "disturbing photo."

Three to five people were there in support of Parker as he had a hearing regarding his current suspension.

It was earlier last week, Parker posted a picture of himself shirtless, with swastika tattoos, posting what some saw as a threatening comment.

Students at UNF said it's been tense on campus, ever since 37-year-old Parker posted that picture. Parker has since been suspended and had a hearing at 9 a.m. Monday. 

Two rallies will be occurring concurrently, one, in support of Parker, the other, counter-protest, with a Facebook event titled "No Nazis at UNF." Organizers with Students For a Democratic Society said they're expecting anywhere between 50 and 70 people at the counter rally.
    
Parker's fiancee, who's organizing on the other end, said she doesn't know exactly how many will show up for him.

"From what I've heard, it's supposed to be a small contained group. Hopefully that's what it stays like," UNF student Joseph Smith said. 

In response to the protests, UNF President John Delaney wrote that they will be moving the hearing away from the core of campus to Alumni Hall.
    

Delaney said Parker will be escorted to his hearing by police. He said there will be additional UNF police, an increased presence that's been there all week, ever since Parker posted his picture. JSO will also be on campus.

"I've seen a lot of uniform police around campus," UNF student Marielisa Martinez said. 

Martinez said that makes her feel safer, but added she's still concerned. 

"I am a little worried because last time there was a Black Lives Matter rally there was a counter rally and it got pretty aggressive," she said. 
    
"If I had Monday classes I don't think I'd go," UNF student Corin Gainey said. 
    
Senior Corin Gainey said she's hoping both sides can rally while things remain peaceful.
    
"It's scary to see another possible white supremacist coming out on campus and making what I believe to be threats," Gainey said.

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