ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – A large group of University of Michigan students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday morning to protest the failure of the school’s president and regents to deny a request made by white nationalist Richard Spence to speak on the Ann Arbor campus.
Last week, President Mark Schlissel said the administration would meet with Spencer’s group the National Policy Institute to determine whether he’d be allowed to rent space to speak. He said if they can’t guarantee a safe setting for the event, they wouldn’t go forward with the request.
Many students are concerned that an appearance by Spencer would equate to violence — much like the scene earlier this year in Charlottesville, VA.
“If Spencer were to come here — there is no reason that any of these things would not happen because the administration is currently relying on the fact that law enforcement and police will protect us,” said student Hoai an Tham.
“People did not just sit there. You can not just sit there and allow people to be white supremacists because otherwise it will only continue to be white supremacists –you can’t let people continue – if what they are continuing in is harming other people.”
But so far, no decision has been made but Schlissel has said the law and their commitment to free speech forbids them from turning down the groups request to speak
The student group “Stop Spencer” is behind the walkout.