Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Texas A&M could be on thin ice in canceling white nationalist rally

Texas A&M University Texas A&M could be on thin ice in canceling white nationalist rally
Melinda Barton | 18 August, 2017, 03:53

Texas A&M University may face a lawsuit over its decision to cancel a rally planned for September 11, featuring white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

One counter-protester died while 19 others were injured when a Nazi sympathiser smashed his vehicle into the crowd at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. "The First Amendment in America doesn't mean anything".

Wiginton said he would bring Spencer back on September 11 for an all-day rally. "But when White Lives Matter wants to come to A&M, the student body wants to form a human wall to prevent us from stepping foot on campus, the administration condemns us, and the Texas State Legislature puts pressure on the administration to cancel the event".

A&M's news release Monday - its only official statement on the matter - cited several reasons, including safety concerns in the wake of race-related violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and disruption of class schedules and pedestrian and bus movement.

Before the cancellation was announced, students at the university were already planning a counterprotest called "BTHO Hate" (that is, "beat the hell outta hate").

Smith said in an earlier statement to The Dallas Morning News that the university didn't invite any white nationalists, but that it can't stop them from coming.

"Word of the cancellation came hours after Dallas Democratic Rep. Helen Giddings gave a House floor speech while almost all of the chamber's 150 members stood beside her".

"Rep. Paul Workman, an Austin Republican, added that a petition being circulated for A&M graduates in the House was attempting to 'keep this from happening on our campus.' The chamber then held a moment of silence for victims killed and injured in Charlottesville".

Following the speech of Richard Spencer and subsequent protests, the university changed its policy regarding guest speakers.

The university did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

"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", the school says.

The organizer of a "White Lives Matter" rally on Texas A&M's campus says he was inspired by the Charlottesville rally.

The university stated they have supported first amendment rights in the past, but given the recent turn of events, safety is too large of a concern. She says anyone can reserve space on the public university's campus.

"I think A&M is smart enough to say "we'll take that risk", said Treece.

Adam Key, event organizer of BTHOHate said in a press release his organization is proud of his university for shutting the rally down. "You're telling me that you can't get police there to protect us from the leftists?"