According to a local report, a Black Lives Matter branch from New York will be heading to Richmond, Virginia to counter-protest a planned rally in support of Confederate statues on Monument Avenue this weekend, in yet another case of outside activists showing up to a city they don't live in to cause trouble.
The rally was planned by the Confederate group CSA II: The New Confederate States of America, to show support for Monument Avenue's longstanding Robert E Lee. monument, currently under threat of removal by some city officials.
Hawk Newsome, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, said the group is heading to Richmond to "protest white supremacists."
Tom Crompton, the President, and CEO of CSA II, recently spoke out against the white supremacist groups that participated in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville last month.
"We don't associate with white supremacy," Crompton stated. "We do not believe in those groups or any other hate groups nor will we stand for that."
"I'm here for preserving Richmond's monuments, not to get in some racial fight with radicals," he continued, adding that any hate groups who show up to this weekend's rally will be asked to leave.
On Thursday, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said that items like masks, flag poles, sticks, shields, and helmets will be prohibited at Saturday's rally.
It's safe to say tensions will already be high, but the addition of BLM of Greater New York may add fuel to the flames-- a situation made even more frustrating by the fact that they are not a local organization, and their members have no geographical connection or gripe with the Richmond monuments. Black Lives Matter has drawn widespread criticism for busing in outside protesters to attend other highly publicized protests in places like Ferguson, Baltimore, and Milwaukee.
(Photo credit: Flickr, Tony Webster)
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