Torch-carrying white supremacists chased off University of Texas campus before rally starts
A group of white supremacists were chased off campus by University of Texas police over the weekend before they could rally.
The demonstrators, some masked and carrying torches, were asked to leave shortly after midnight Friday by university police officers, reported The Daily Texan.
Officers said nearly two dozen demonstrators were gathering and lighting tiki torches on the Main Mall, but police ordered them to remove their American flag masks and leave campus before the rally started.
Police notified students of the incident Saturday afternoon, and the university president also commented on the failed rally a few hours later.
“The actions of white supremacists and other hate groups are completely anathema to UT’s values, and I abhor what they represent,” said Gregory Fenves, university president. “These are difficult times for our nation, with movements fueled by hatred increasingly taking root, as we saw in Charlottesville and elsewhere. We must continue to denounce these ugly, un-American ideas in the strongest terms.”
Fenves said the demonstrators, who police described as mostly white men, had violated policies against masks and open flames, and he said groups not affiliated with the university weren’t allowed to demonstrate on campus.
No students were participating in the rally, according to police.
“The actions of a hate group do not define us,” Fenves said. “They never will.”
The unannounced demonstration took place hours before a scheduled protest at the nearby Austin City Hall calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.
About 45 anti-fascist protesters were met Saturday by about 75 pro-Trump demonstrators waving Confederate flags.