'White Lives Matter' rally cancelled after bipartisan effort on senate floor, organizer will take matter to court

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 23:46:12-04

Texas A&M said that the "White Lives Matter" rally has been canceled. The protest was to be held on Sept. 11 and was being organized by White Nationalist Preston Wiginton.

Texas A&M released a statement Monday evening saying that the event is being canceled due to "concerns about the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and the public." 

Lawmakers at the state capitol took a moment to speak on the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend during Monday's special session. 

"Members of this house who are Aggie alumni strongly condemn the notion that they would use our campus to further these bad ideas, he and we as Aggies in the house call upon Chancellor Sharp to try to intervene," Representative Paul Workman said. 

Representative Workman went on to say a letter signed by Aggie alumni in the house was sent to the chairman to ask for their campus not to participate in hate and violence.

Members of the Senate also stood one by one to condemn the violence that took place in Charlottesville. 

Texas A&M said that "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." 

Alt. Right leader Richard Spencer spoke at Texas A&M in December 2016.

The school changed its policy on protests so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned organization. No group on campus invited Wiginton. 

Wiginton, a former A&M student, had planned for the event to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11. After the event was canceled, Wiginton said he plans on fighting the school's ruling in court in hopes of getting to hold the rally. 

"We're in a new era now. Obviously, today points out that whites don't have civil rights, that white lives don't matter," said Wiginton. "We hope that the Supreme Court thinks differently... or a federal judge thinks differently and we will be reinstated."

For now the rally remains canceled and it has the organizer of a planned counter-protest changing his plans.

Adam Key, a doctoral candidate in communications, had plans for a human wall to block students' view of the White Lives Matter rally. Students planned to line up side-by-side while other counter-protesters chanted and held-up signs opposing the white nationalists.

Key said now they will hold an event celebrating diversity on campus right where White Lives Matter planned to hold their rally.

"Our goal now is to take this space and time. These racist Nazis intended toward hate and making it a space in time for love of our fellow men." Key said.

Key said he and other counter-protest organizers raised five-thousand dollars in a 24-hour time period as the violence played out in Charlottesville over the weekend.

He said the wi'll now give that money to charities like the "Brazos Interfaith and Immigration Network" and the "Brazos Valley African American Scholarship Museum Scholarship Fund."

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