COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A planned “White Lives Matter” rally to be held on the campus of Texas A&M on September 11 has been cancelled over safety concerns. Here is the statement issued by the university regarding that decision:
After consultation with law enforcement and considerable study, Texas A&M is cancelling the event scheduled by Preston Wiginton at Rudder Plaza on campus on September 11 because of concerns about the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and the public.
Texas A&M changed its policy after December’s protests so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group. None of the 1200-plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events in December 2016 or on September 11 of this year. With no university facilities afforded him, he chose instead to plan his event outdoors for September 11 at Rudder Plaza, in the middle of campus, during a school day, with a notification to the media under the headline “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.”
Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus. Additionally, the daylong event would provide disruption to our class schedules and to student, faculty and staff movement (both bus system and pedestrian).
Texas A&M’s support of the First Amendment and the freedom of speech cannot be questioned. On December 6, 2016 the university and law enforcement allowed the same speaker the opportunity to share his views, taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure a peaceful event. However, in this case, circumstances and information relating to the event have changed and the risks of threat to life and safety compel us to cancel the event.
Finally, the thoughts and prayers of Aggies here on campus and around the world are with those individuals affected by the tragedy in Charlottesville.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - On the same day as the violent clashes in Charlottesville, white nationalists in Texas announced plans for a "White Lives Matter" rally on the campus of Texas A&M University, and it's scheduled for Sept. 11 of all days.
One Houstonian calls it a disgrace.
"I think that it is very coincidental that they are calling themselves not terrorists and then they're going to do it on a day that we as America remember for terrorist acts in the country," the person said.
Another person added, "The fact that they're trying to do this on 9/11; I think is making light of an issue that shouldn't be made light of. Over 3,000 people lost their lives on 9/11. And it wasn't just white people who lost their lives; there were people of all sorts of races who lost their lives on that day."
The rally is being organized by Aggie alumni Preston Wiginton. He's the same man who got white supremacist Richard Spencer to come to the campus and speak back in December. Spencer plans on being in College Station on September 11.
According to the Batallion, Texas A&M's student newspaper, Wiginton says, "The event will be to protest the liberal anti-white agenda, which includes white guilt which leads to white genocide."
Wiginton claims he was actually inspired by the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.
Texas A&M says it doesn't support Wiginton's views, and while he has a right to free speech, the school has the right to refuse those views.
Student Body President Bobby Brooks says he's working with students to figure out a way to take on the issue.