White nationalists get ready for round 2 … in Texas
Brace yourselves for Round 2: White nationalists are planning for another protest in September.
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremist groups plan to hold a “white lives matter” rally at Texas A&M on September 11. Richard Spencer, the white supremacist who helped found the so-called alt-right movement, will speak at the event, according to the Battalion, Texas A&M’s student newspaper.
The Battalion reports the Texas protest organizer, Preston Wiginton, was inspired by the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. That protest drew a large number of counterprotesters and turned violent. One woman was killed and dozens injured when police say a man with views sympathetic to neo-Nazis deliberately drove his car into a crowd.
“Students are planning a number of various [counter-] protests,” Josh McCormack, editor in chief of the Battalion, told CNN. “The most popular protests seems to be a recreation of the ‘maroon wall.'”
Blocking the view
The maroon wall is essentially a human chain, McCormak said. In July 2012, members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church came to the area to protest a soldier’s funeral at a local church. When they showed up they were greeted by hundreds of students who linked together to block their view.
Now, a similar maroon wall protest is being organized on Facebook. By Monday morning, more than a thousand students had already signed up for it.
“We will be making a silent, outward facing wall around the plaza to protect our students and show that the Aggie Family’s commitment to its own is far greater than any force trying to divide us,” the Facebook posts says.
Unwelcome at school
A spokeswoman for the school said Texas A&M doesn’t support the planned rally or Preston Wiginton, the protest’s organizer.
“His views and those of the group he represents are counter to the core values of Texas A&M,” Amy Smith, executive vice president for marketing and communications, told the Battalion. “While he has the right of free speech, so too do we have the right to refute those views and get on with the daily business of a world class university.”
CNN has contacted the school and is waiting to hear back.
During his December appearance at the school Spencer delivered his message of white supremacy for roughly two hours to a room of 400 people, the vast majority of whom were there in protest.
“At the end of the day, America belongs to white men,” he said at the time.