After the August violence in Charlottesville sparked by a white nationalist rally, a smattering of copycat rallies featuring young, white men carrying tiki torches have cropped up despite law enforcement taking no chances of repeat episodes. A similar event nearly occurred at the University of Texas campus in Austin over the weekend but was quickly halted by campus police.
After midnight on Saturday, a small group of protesters (“less than 20”), some wearing American flag masks and carrying tiki torches, were beginning to light their torches when they were confronted by campus officers who were on patrol. The officers ordered the group (“predominantly consisting of white males”) to remove their masks and leave campus. “The protesters left immediately without conflict,” according to the university.
University President Gregory Fenve addressed the incident in a campus-wide email later that day and called white supremacy “completely anathema” a href=”https://dailytexanonline.com/2017/11/04/utpd-removes-masked-protesters-from-main-mall” target=”_blank”>to the school’s values:
“The University of Texas is committed to free speech and the robust exchange of ideas among students, employees and invited visitors — but our campus is not open for non-university-affiliated groups to stage protests or gatherings … The actions of a hate group do not define us. They never will.”
You can read the complete letter from Fenve to the University of Texas community here.