Students from Towson University put together a vocal response to a white supremacist group's call for "night patrols" on and off the campus.
The rally started in front of Stephens Hall, and then students walked Towson’s Freedom Plaza. They ended at Tiger Plaza, where University President Maravene Loeschke praised students' efforts.
“I ask you over and over and over again whenever I see you, how is the world going to be better because you're in it. Well, here's one of your answers,” she said. “A whole lot is going to be better because you're here today.”
The White Student Union was not mentioned at the rally, but a banner, which used an abbreviation that called for the group’s removal from the campus was hung from a parking garage near Tiger Plaza. It was quickly taken down.
Students who came say they felt they had to.
“I was appalled that something like that would be in America at this time in this age,” said a Towson University sophomore, who identified herself only as Sabeen.
The rally came together after the White Student Union -- which is not recognized by the university -- announced plans for the night patrols.
The leader of the group, Towson University senior Matt Heimbach, spoke with some of the students at the rally as it ended. He told ABC-2 News the group will still do those patrols.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “This weekend we already have some planned.”
He said his group has more than 50 members, and they believe multiculturalism is being forced on the nation's white population.
“Depending on what we want to do I see secession as one option, where states who if they want to not be part of this multicultural nation, want to preserve their traditional values, they should be allowed to peacefully join together and make their own nation,” he said.
That was in response to a question about just where his white separatist philosophy leads -- eventually to secession from the United States.
Many similar groups share that view; the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the White Student Union a hate group.
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