Monument Avenue to remain open during planned Confederate rally

Richmond police keep members of the Tennessee based group "New Confederate State of America" separated from counter protesters September 16, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. The group held a protest in support of retaining the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that is located on Richmond's Monument Avenue. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. — A group called CSA II: The New Confederate States of America has plans to rally this weekend on Monument Avenue in Richmond. Much like the group’s September 16 rally, the stated purpose of Saturday’s event is to voice their support to protect Confederate monuments in Richmond.

Unlike the September rally, Monument Avenue will remain open Saturday.

“Should an assembly occur on Monument Avenue this Saturday, even though no group has applied for a permit, we will be prepared to deal with it,” Richmond Police spokesman Gene Lepley said. “Monument Avenue will be open as usual this weekend, without restrictions.”

Tara Brandau, who helped organize the September rally, confirmed to CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit that her group indeed planned to meet in Richmond on Saturday to demonstrate.

The City of Richmond spent more than $570,000 on supplies, police equipment, and safety personnel during the September rally.

It appeared less than 10 members of CSA II participated in the September rally.

A much larger group of counter protestors marched on Monument Avenue in an attempt to drown out the pro-Confederate voices.

No one was injured during the September event, which took place about one month after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

“We ask anyone who comes to Monument Avenue to be cooperative and non-confrontational,” Lepley said. “They should stay out of the roadway, remain on the sidewalks and cross in the crosswalks. There will be zero tolerance for misbehavior.”

The City of Richmond is in the midst of discussing what to do with the city’s Confederate monuments.

Monuments honoring Confederate figures Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, J. E. B. Stuart, and Matthew Fontaine Maury dot Richmond’s most famous street. In 1996, a monument to tennis great and humanitarian Arthur Ashe was added to Monument Avenue.