Hundreds gather to protest for and against Confederate monuments in Richmond

Dandridge neo-confederate group to rally around Virginia monument

Traffic in parts of Richmond came to a standstill Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people took to the street in protest of the monuments to Richmond's Confederate past.

Groups have been actively protesting since about 9 a.m., and continued even after the out of state group left the area.

Protesters defending Confederate statues surrounded a monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, Saturday (Sept. 16), but counter-protesters far outnumbered them, forming a crowd of several hundred people, CBS News' Paula Reid reports.

In foresight of an extensive turnout of rally dissidents, Richmond Police started to closing off bits of Monument Avenue Friday morning. "We came here to help the general population that need to support the landmarks".

Rally organizers say they're cooperating with police and that they want the protest to remain peaceful. She also said the people coming would be armed because Virginia is an open carry state for firearms.

Jessica Lawrence, a Richmond activist who planned to march Saturday from the new Maggie Walker statue on Broad Street to Monument Avenue, interrupted the group's 11 a.m. press conference outside the Virginia State Capitol.

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"You're causing inconvenience in our city", Lawrence shouted at the gathering. "It's only been one month since Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville".

Marchers were stopped before being allowed into the barricade around the monument to prevent participants from carrying sticks, flag poles, and other possible weapons into the designated area. 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.

We call on Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Police Chief Alfred Durham to protect the law-abiding, peace-loving citizens of Richmond by rounding up these out of town criminals and locking them up.

While there would be no police congratulate downs at the rally, police said blocks, shafts, and different sorts of weapons won't be permitted. "That is the battle here".

Chesterfield Police, Henrico Police, Virginia State Police, and Capitol Police would be close by with an end goal to keep the peace.

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