RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds surrounded the Maggie Walker statue Saturday morning, determined to send a message of love.
“We stand together united here in the heart of the former capital of the Confederacy,” said Adria Scharf with the Richmond Peace Education Center.
They declared the event a safe space and encouraged everyone to remain peaceful.
“We are going to distinguish ourselves in love and peace,” said Rev. Jeanne Pupke with First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond. “We’re going to march with hope and joy.”
Some told 8News the message called them into action.
“We hadn’t planned on marching we were just coming to the rally,” Sharon Brumfield said. “We were so moved by everyone we were going, ‘Give it a try and hope we are safe.'”
The crowd marched to Monument Avenue and ended on the front steps of First English Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Protestors from Black Lives Matter Greater New York and BLM757 joined up with the group along the way and chanted “racism has got to go.”
When the unity march ended, organizers told the crowd that any “direct contact” could be done afterward.
As a result, the majority of those marchers then made their way down Monument Avenue toward the Robert E. Lee statue.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.