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Mayor ‘not fearful’ about Confederate group’s planned Monument Avenue rally

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mayor Levar Stoney warned a Confederate group and potential counter-protesters that they'll be thrown in jail if they break the law in Richmond.

As WTVR CBS 6 first reported two weeks ago, the group CSA II: The New Confederate States of America, led by out-of-towners Tom and Judy Crompton and Tara Brandau, plan to host a “Heritage not Hate” rally at the Robert E. Lee Monument on Monument Avenue.

A Facebook event with dozens of people confirmed to attend scheduled the protest on Sept. 16.

"There have not been any permits for any sort of demonstration or protest on Monument Avenue," Stoney said.

Crime Insider sources said police have intel that the group will attract opposition from ANTIFA, an activist group that has exploded in numbers since the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The group had a strong presence in Charlottesville when white supremacists and white nationalists gathered for a “Unite the Right” rally that saw deadly events unfold.

Mayor Levar Stoney

Mayor Levar Stoney

"I’m not fearful at all," Stoney said. "We have one of the best police departments to handle these sort of demonstrations."

In a phone interview, Brandau explained her group will be armed since Virginia is an open-carry state.

"We are not here to stir up any trouble," Brandau said. "We are not a racist group. We are not a part of the League of the South, KKK, ANTIFA, or BLM [Black Lives Matter]."

Neighbors along Monument Avenue shared fears that regardless of the Confederate group's stance violence will follow.

"In light of what happened in Charlottesville it’s a little unnerving," Beth Hutchinson said. "It stirs people up and brings negation attention to something that I don’t want negative attention around."

Tara Brandau

Tara Brandau

Tom Crompton, with the Confederate group, said that the Department of General Services denied his group a permit for 50 people, but they plan to rally regardless.

Crompton said he has now focused his ire on Governor Terry McAuliffe, who issued an executive order barring demonstrations at the Lee Monument, after Crompton filed for the permit.

The RPD will continue to discuss their operational plans this week.

"I can’t predict the behavior of the community,” said Chief Durham, but he added that he can promise a lawful assembly.

He said that people living along Monument Avenue deserve peace of mind.

“Most recent history of these protests -it's folks from the outside and not locals,” Durham said. “Our citizens love this city and we don't want them thinking they can just come here, wreak havoc on our city and leave."

Next week police will meet with a Fan civic association to discuss their plan for what stands now as the unknown.

The Confederate group planned to hold a press conference a day before their protest.

"If you’re going to bring hate, divisiveness and intolerance, then we don’t want you here," Stoney said. "If you come here harming others or destroying property, we will lock you up."