Police on alert after Monument Avenue crowds disperse: 'Officers will remain vigilant'

Dandridge neo-confederate group to rally around Virginia monument

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

In foresight of an extensive turnout of rally dissidents, Richmond Police started to closing off bits of Monument Avenue Friday morning.

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".

"I hope nobody loses their lives tomorrow, on either side, I really do".

"We will not tolerate racism or anything like that, none of it", said the rally's organizer Karen Lower, who will be dressed Martha Washington, the wife of the first President of the United States. These statues and what they represent are spurring the same sort of hatred and violence today.

As of 11:32 a.m., there were no arrests, although one person was removed from the scene, according to the Richmond Police Department.

Several dozen people came out for two separate Confederate monument demonstrations in downtown Huntsville.

"You're causing inconvenience in our city", Lawrence shouted at the gathering. After the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer in the Charlottesville event, Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a moratorium on permit rallies around the controversial public monuments. Anyone who rallies within the grass space of the monument will be arrested by police. In a tweet posted Saturday, Richmond police said the move to end the rally early was "a mutually agreed-upon decision" made by both police and rally organizers.

"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.

"My suggestion, and don't take this the wrong way, don't show up", Durham answered. Protesters who tried to hide their identities with masks would be arrested, no questions asked. "That's the struggle here".

Chesterfield Police, Henrico Police, Virginia State Police, and Capitol Police would be on hand in an effort to keep the peace.

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