Texas A&M cancels ‘White Lives Matter’ event with Richard Spencer

Richard Spencer, a leader in the "alt-right" that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism, poses between interviews Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in College Station, Texas. Spencer is scheduled to speak at Texas A&M University after being invited by a former student. Texas A&M is holding an event to highlight diversity and unity at the same time Spencer is set to speak. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KXAN) — Texas A&M University has canceled a scheduled “White Lives Matter” event featuring White nationalist Richard Spencer.

The university said they made the decision after consulting with law enforcement because of concerns for the safety of its students, staff and the public.

A&M changed its policy so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group.

Spencer addressed the crowds Saturday at the Charlottesville rally, and the next day Texan Preston Wiginton announced Spencer would also speak at Texas A&M on Sept. 11, according to the Texas Tribune.

The university says none of their 1,200-plus campus organizations invited Wiginton or agree to sponsor his events.

“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,'” the university said in a statement, adding that drawing a link to Charlottesville created a security risk.

In the wake of violence in Charlottesville, as white nationalist groups and counter-protesters clashed over the weekend, a Texas senator condemned the planned event.

“While the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of these groups to assemble and espouse their hateful and narrow-minded worldview, it also protects my right to publicly speak out against it…and that’s exactly what I plan to do when these groups come to College Station next month,” Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, said.

Counter-protests were already planned for the event before it was canceled.

Spencer previously visited Texas A&M. Hundreds of people protested his visit to the school last December.

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