Demonstrators gather at Confederate monument in downtown Norfolk

The rally comes four days after a clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Members of a Facebook group called Disrupt Norfolk VA plan to demonstrate at the Confederate monument in Downtown Norfolk Wednesday and invited people to their event using social media.

Disrupt Confederate Monuments is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The rally comes four days after a clash between white nationalists and counter-protestors in Charlottesville.

The event page for the demonstration states: "Johnny Reb is not welcome here." It also references the confrontations that took place in Charlottesville and the death of Heather Heyer.

Heyer died after someone drove a car into a crowd of people protesting the Unite the Right Rally that was taking place. Several others in the crowd were hurt.

PHOTOS: Demonstrators at Norfolk's Confederate monument

The Disrupt Confederate Monuments event page says:

Norfolk has a brutal and shameful history of violating civil rights. Polishing up and putting that hate symbol back up while violating a federal order to desegregate public schools. Several 757 comrades experienced the terror attack that took Heather Heyer and injured 19 of their comrades.

Those who planned the demonstration Wednesday said they would have a picket line that would show their solidarity and opposition to "racist hate symbols."

Downtown Norfolk Council sent an alert to let people know the Disrupt Confederate Monuments would take place.

Norfolk Police Department spokesman Officer Daniel Hudson told 13News Now officers were aware of the demonstration and would be visible during it.

Mayor Kenny Alexander released a statement about the monument on Wednesday, offering no opinion as to whether it should be taken down or moved. He said if council decides the monument should not stay in place, his "recommendation would be to find a suitable location for it -- perhaps in Elmwood Cemetery where confederate veterans are interred." 

Mayor Kenny Alexander's Statement about Confederate Monument by 13News Now on Scribd

Attorney General Mark R. Herring sent the following statement to 13News Now:

"I agree with Gov. McAuliffe and Lt. Gov. Northam that this is the time for each community to engage in an inclusive conversation on the future of its Confederate statues and monuments. In my opinion, these statues should be relocated to museums or removed. Gov. McAuliffe said it well: these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion, and equality in Virginia."

Governor McAuliffe also released a statement regarding the future of Confederate monuments in Virginia. Urging for the monuments to be taken down and put in museums, or other more appropriate settings:

“The discussion regarding whether to relocate Confederate statues is an important and legitimate conversation that should take place in each community that contains one. Monuments should serve as unifiers, to inspire us collectively and to venerate our greatest citizens. Unfortunately, the recent events in Charlottesville demonstrate that monuments celebrating the leadership of the Confederacy have become flashpoints for hatred, division and violence.

“As we attempt to heal and learn from the tragic events in Charlottesville, I encourage Virginia's localities and the General Assembly – which are vested with the legal authority –  to take down these monuments and relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings. I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make, I believe the path forward is clear.”

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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