Organizers of canceled 'White Lives Matter' rally threaten legal action

Could there be legal action over a canceled rally at Texas A&M? KHOU's legal expert weighs in.

HOUSTON - It was images of violence out of Charlottesville, Virginia and the words "Charlottesville Today, Texas A&M Tomorrow" that prompted Texas A&M University to cancel a white nationalist rally on campus that had been previously scheduled for next month.

"We were not there by any means to bring violence," said Preston Wiginton, the rally organizer.

The event was going to happen at an outdoor campus free-speech zone, an area not subjected to A&M's speaker policy, that only allows speakers on campus if sponsored by a student group. Organizers say the University's decision clearly violates their free speech.

"Just because people don't like the message it doesn't matter, that's why I think they have a valid argument," said KHOU legal analyst Gerald Treece.

Treece says the group's message is repugnant, but the First Amendment protects the groups right to say it. He says this case will likely head to court and A&M knows that.

"I think A&M is smart enough to say 'we'll take that risk'," said Treece. "We'd rather deal with getting sued than deal with the firestorm of potential problems if this group comes to campus."

White Lives Matter organizer Preston Wiginton says they've already filed a complaint with the ACLU and are in talks with private attorneys to explore a lawsuit.

"This fight continues regardless of whether its A&M or not, these are a bunch of angry white people that are the result of the diversity that's been pushed down their throat," said Wiginton.

Wiginton says they're already planning a march down a public street on A&M's campus. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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