Students Warned in Advance of White Nationalist Rally

May 1, 2017

The University of Pikesville urged students and parents, in advance of a white nationalist rally that took place near campus on Saturday, to consider leaving town for the weekend if they were concerned about safety, The Kentucky Herald-Leader reported.

In a letter published on the University of Pikeville’s website, President Burton Webb told parents that the quiet, safe town of Pikeville, Ky., could look “very different” as members of the Traditionalist Workers Party converged on the area for a rally.

“They were not invited to our town and are not welcome on our campus,” Webb said in the letter, adding that local and state law enforcement were ramping up security efforts to ensure nothing and no one was harmed during the event.

“Sadly, we cannot guarantee safety when three hate groups from outside the region have determined to pitch their battle on our streets,” he wrote.

He offered parents two possible options to suggest to their children. First, parents could encourage students to stay away from the downtown area, where the TWP and other groups would be rallying. Second, parents could urge their students to leave town and visit family or friends elsewhere until things settle down in Pikeville.

“Please, talk to your student and make your wishes known,” Webb said. “Encourage them to be part of the solution by working toward reconciliation rather than increasing hate.”

During the rally Saturday, the white nationalists and those there to protest against them avoided violence, according to the Herald-Leader. About 125 white nationalists were present, as were another 200 protesters.

Law enforcement officials, including about 40 armed police officers wearing riot gear, stood shoulder to shoulder between the two groups as people on each side chanted, yelled and sounded off with whistles and horns.

Three people were arrested during the event, all of whom were in Pikeville to protest the white nationalists.

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