RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On the heels of a violent weekend in Charlottesville, here in Richmond, city officials are trying to prevent that from happening here in the capital city.
Two rallies are planned for September 16th. One from Americans for Richmond Monument Preservation and the other a counter rally protesting white supremacy, both are on Monument Avenue.
Right now only Americans for Richmond Monument Preservation has applied for a permit to hold a rally at the Robert e Lee statue on Monument Avenue.
This is state property so the decision will be up to the state, but Mayor Levar Stoney said he will not tolerate any violence.
“We will lock you up,” said Mayor Stoney. “I will not tolerate that behavior.”
Mayor Levar Stoney said it doesn’t matter if the permit is approved or denied, the city will be ready.
“We will have an abundance of presence on Monument Avenue or anywhere that’s necessary moving forward,” Stoney said. “We are not playing around with this.”
On Sunday night, even the anti- fascist protests turned violent.
City Council member Kim Gray witnessed Sunday’s protest and said with the nature of what’s happened, approving any permits would be a bad idea.
“I don’t think we need to be approving permits for either side,” Kim Gray said. “I think we need to hold off. ”
Both Gray and Stoney said safety is their biggest concern and that supporting the freedom of speech does not mean they support any violence that could come with it.
“If people want to peacefully demonstrate, I’m totally open to that, but peaceful demonstration is not what I saw last night,” Mayor Stoney said. “It’s not what I saw in Charlottesville. And if that’s the sort of stuff you want to bring to Richmond than stay home. ”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.