Texas A&M University has rolled out the 'unwelcome mat,' cancelling a planned September 11th demonstration at Rudder Plaza by White Nationalists, who promised it would be the 'Second Charlottesville,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"The University has cancelled it because of concerns over hate messages that have been on Facebook," said State Rep. John Rainey (R-College Station) who met with A&M Chancellor John Sharp. "There was talk about hate groups coming and bringing their weapons, and the police department isn't prepared for that."
Rainey's announcement was met by applause on the floor of the Texas House, but it was not met with support from Preston Wiginton. He is the 'alt-right' leader who had planned and obtained permission for the Texas A&M gathering.
Wiginton said he'll see A&M in court."We don't feel defeated," Wiginton told News Radio 1200 WOAI. "We feel that we have legal recourse and we plan to move forward. Obviously the alt-right had recourse in Charlottesville where a federal judge stepped in and reinstated their permit to speak. We expect the same to happen here."
Texas A&M, in a statement, said it cancelled the event because of a new rule that requires any outside group to have 'the sponsorship of a university sanctioned organization' before it can reserve campus facilities.
"None of the 1200 plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events," the University said.
State Rep Helen Giddings (D-Houston) praised Texas A&M's move.
"Racism is our country's original sin, let us confront the causes of this hatred and extingish it," she said.
Perhaps expecting a legal challenge, A&M pointed out that it allowed Wiginton and alt-right leader Richard Spencer to appear on campus last December.
"Texas A&M's support for the First Amendment and the freedom of speech cannot be questioned," the University said. "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 safetly compel us to cancer the event."
The press release promoting the September 11th event at Texas A&M actually had the headline 'Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow College Station."
GRAPHIC; TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY