Earlier Wednesday, and just days before pro-gun activists are scheduled to hold a rally in Richmond, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency. Stating that he had received credible intelligence containing “extremist rhetoric” similar to what led up to the Charlottesville violence, Northam has banned all guns from capitol grounds.
The Governor also said that “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” during the Jan. 20 rally, and that after what he observed at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017,
‘We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here.
‘No weapons will be allowed on Capitol grounds. Everything from sticks and bats to chains and projectiles…. The list also includes firearms. It makes no sense to ban every other weapon but allow firearms when intelligence shows that armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol.’
According to Vice:
‘Upwards of 5,000 people said on the Facebook page that they plan to attend. Event organizers have warned the state that as many as 100,000 could show up.
‘A website for the rally shows that at least 60 buses are scheduled to transport attendees into Richmond on Monday. And there’s word that carpools are being organized. What’s more, armed militia groups are also planning to attend, and some have even described the event as a “boogaloo” — a term that the far right uses to describe a second civil war.
‘In addition to banning weapons on Capitol grounds, Northam also said he’d established a unified command between state police, Capitol police, the Richmond police department, and the city’s first responder teams. This is a critical move — one that’s likely borne out of the lessons learned from the massive law enforcement failures during Unite the Right, which left one dead and dozens injured. Months after that rally, an independent review team released a searing 220-page report analyzing how law enforcement’s disorganization and failure to coordinate across agencies allowed the violent, ugly scenes that unfolded that day.’
Northam said that the emergency would be lifted the day after the rally on Tuesday.
Featured image via screenshot.