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New Confederates explain why they're here as Richmond braces for rally

New Confederates explain why they're here as Richmond braces for rally

A rally in support of a controversial Confederate monument at the Madison County Courthouse square will not include a keynote speaker Saturday, but it will involve pro-statue advocates encouraged to "speak from the heart".

When they gathered around the statue of the Confederate hero, they were met by counter activists, which held their own "Richmond Stands United" rally, calling for the removal of Lee's statue.

Richmond city officials said they were considering removing the statue following the violent white nationalist rally last month in Charlottesville. These statues and what they represent are spurring the same sort of hatred and violence today.

"I might want everybody to know we are collaborating with police... they are here for everybody's wellbeing", Brandau said. "We came here to help the general population that need to support the landmarks". "That's not why we are here", Brandau said. "Have you no sensibility?" As city officials have said, everyone has a right to express their views in public, but anyone who violates the law or endangers the safety of others will be arrested and charged.

While there would be no police pat-downs at the rally, police said bricks, poles, and other types of weapons will not be allowed.

Visiting Florida, Trump Praises 'Incredible' First Responders, State Officials
As a precaution, Hollywood police officers were checking on the 42 other assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the area. In Coral Gables, an apartment building was evacuated after authorities said its lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants.

"How do you recommend that counter protesters protect themselves from being shot on Saturday?" one woman asked Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham during a Thursday night community meeting. Anyone who rallies within the grass space of the monument will be arrested by police.

"My recommendation, and don't take this the wrong way, don't show up", Durham replied.

Chief Durham says it's not about taking sides but keeping those who rally and residents safe.

Durham reminded Richmonders that parts of Monument Avenue and some surrounding streets would have different traffic and parking patterns. Several Virginia agencies, including the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management will be providing resources to the City of Richmond and coordinating with their counterparts in city government throughout the day as we all monitor this event.


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