Virginia’s Department of General Services has received a request from a Confederate interest group called “Americans for Richmond Monument Preservation,” asking permission to hold a rally at a Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond on September 16, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported.
The rally, if approved, would come just one month after a horrific day of violence and death as the result of a planned rally in Charlottesville.
A spokeswoman for the Department of General Services, Dena Potter, said the application is being reviewed but has not yet been approved. It was reportedly submitted by Bragdon Bowling, a former commander of the Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Jim Nolan, a spokesman for Richmond’s mayor, Levar Stoney, said the city police and capitol police will be meeting to discuss the request, and more information will be released later this week on their decision.
A public hearing was held in Richmond on Wednesday, Aug. 9, by the Monument Avenue Commission, which reportedly turned into a “contentious affair” that attracted more than 500 people. At that time, Mayor Stoney had stated that he does not support relocating the confederate monuments but wants to add context to the monuments.
The following video is from that hearing, which was held before the violence erupted in Charlottesville just three days later.
Many in attendance voiced their opinion over the matter, both for and against removing the statues. One person who spoke up against removing the confederate statues was an African-American woman (at about the 20-minute mark) who said she was a former educator in Richmond Public Schools for 33 years. She said, “The past is the past. We cannot remove it, and we cannot move forward if we stay in the past.”
She encouraged people to hold on to their faith and move forward. “For those of you who want the statues removed, I understand your pain, but that’s not the right thing to do,” she said.
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