At least 300 hundred people participated in Saturday’s protests on Texas A&M’s Academic Plaza in the area of the vandalized Sul Ross statue.
University police set up what was described as an exclusion zone between the 300 at the north end of the plaza who wanted the statue removed, and an undisclosed number of counter protesters at the south side. An undisclosed number of uniformed officers were inside buildings surrounding the plaza. Two officers joined an undisclosed number of university officials in the buffer zone.
This information was provided in UPD’s arrest report of an A&M professor who was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing.
61 year old Michael Alvard is accused of refusing to leave the buffer zone and attempting to read a prepared statement using a bullhorn.
Alvard told an A&M administrator and two UPD officers that he had a right to be on public property and they had no right to ask him to leave.
The officer who arrested Alvard noted the crowd became more agitated the longer the argument continued. As the officer took the bullhorn out of the protester’s hand and placed him in handcuffs, the officer heard Alvard repeatedly ask “Are you sure you want to do this?”
The bullhorn was handed to another protester as Alvard was escorted off the plaza. He is out of jail after posting a $2,000 thousand dollar bond.
Texas A&M is preparing for Saturday demonstrations around the Sul Ross statue.
Quoting A&M social media, “We call on all individuals who attend a demonstration to choose to contribute to its peaceful outcome.”
Administrators are telling Aggies, again quoting their social media, “be aware that there may be individuals in attendance who are not affiliated with the university.”
Sul Ross, who served as A&M president and before that two terms as Texas governor, was before that a Confederate general.
The statue, which was dedicated in 1918, was spraypainted earlier this week with the letters “B-L-M, the word “racist”, and the letters “A-C-A-B”.
Since the vandalism, the statue has been covered in blue tarp, and a screened fence was installed around the perimeter of Academic Plaza, which includes the oldest sculpture on the A&M campus.