COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A "White Lives Matter" protest scheduled to be held on the campus of Texas A&M has been canceled, university officials announced Monday.
The canceled protest comes after the white nationalist protests that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va. Saturday.
The protest was scheduled for Sept. 11 and organized by political activist and former A&M student Preston Wiginton.
Wiginton said the rally was in response to the university's decision not to fire A&M professor Dr. Tommy Curry following a string of alleged racial comments that surfaced in early May from a podcast in 2012.
In a statement from Wiginton, he said the purpose of this event is to "protest liberal agenda of white guilt and white genocide that is taught in most universities in America."
"I think we're back in the 1960s with white people being black and white people will have to fight for their civil rights," Wiginton told KHOU 11 News. "Our first amendment was violated. Our free speech was violated."
Texas A&M University released the following statement:
"After consultation with law enforcement and considerable study, Texas A&M is cancelling the event scheduled by Preston Wiginton at Rudder Plaza on campus on September 11 because of concerns about the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and the public.
"Texas A&M changed its policy after December’s protests so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group. None of the 1200-plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events in December 2016 or on September 11 of this year. 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.'
"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 (both bus system and pedestrian).
"Texas A&M’s support of the First Amendment and the freedom of speech cannot be questioned. 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 safety compel us to cancel the event.
"Finally, the thoughts and prayers of Aggies here on campus and around the world are with those individuals affected by the tragedy in Charlottesville."
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