- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - University of Virginia’s president is urging students and faculty to stay away from an upcoming Ku Klux Klan rally in the city.

Local news media outlets report that University President Teresa Sullivan urged community members in an email to “avoid the rally and avoid confrontation” when the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights come to Charlottesville on July 8 to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Sullivan says the university community condemns the group’s “detestable beliefs,” but also understands its right to free speech.

Sullivan says that “to listen and respond to these outsiders would only call more attention to their viewpoint and create the publicity that they crave.”

She’s urging students and faculty to attend alternative events being planned in Charlottesville.

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