Various groups, including Antifa and Black Lives Matter, march in Richmond

Posted at 1:01 AM, Sep 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-17 01:38:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Heading into Saturday, no one knew exactly what would unfold during the planned marches and rallies on Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

While much of the focus was centered around the statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, the epicenter of the day's events was just up the street at Stuart Circle.

That is where hundreds gathered around the monument to Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart before marching throughout the city.

The crowd, which was made up of members from various groups, including Antifa, Black Lives Matter and others, made their way down Monument Avenue before turning onto Broad Street.

As the demonstrators marched, they expressed outrage over a number of issues.

"No hate, no fear, racists are not welcome here," protesters shouted.

As the scene unfolded, police made adjustments to shift patrols to get intersections blocked off and keep everyone safe.

The protesters made it all the way to VCU's main campus andMonroe Park before turning around.

They then made it back to Stuart Circle where two people on bikes were arrested for wearing masks in public.

As the arrests were being made, the debate over the city's Confederate statues waged on.

In fact, the remaining crowd circled around two people who took turns sharing their views on what should be done.

"Put them where people who want to see them can visit them," one woman yelled.

"All of this time and now it's a problem," one pro-monument supporter shouted. "It's been here for years and years and years."

And even though the pair got in each others' faces and the debate was heated at times, both parties said they were are at least willing to listen and have a conversation so that some day they may be able to reach a compromise or understanding.

A masked protestor is arrested at Stuart Circle.

A masked protestor is arrested at Stuart Circle.

7 people arrested in Richmond 

Authorities said seven people were arrested in the wake of counter-protests following a pro-Confederate group’s rally at the statue to Gen. Robert E. Lee..

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, Richmond police said seven arrests occurred:

  • Deante L. Watkins, 18, of the 1000 block of Althea Parkway in Richmond, VA, is charged with two counts each of possession of a stolen weapon and possession of a concealed weapon.
  • Brittany D. Bush, 29, of the 00 block of Jefferson Street in Petersburg, VA, is charged with disorderly conduct.
  • Jabari A. Robinson, 21, 4000 block of Old Mountain Road in Roanoke, VA, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
  • Caroline Hill, 24, the 6900 of McLean Park Manor Court, McLean, is charged with wearing a mask in public.
  • Thomas W. Rockett, 21, 2000 Highcourt Lane in Herndon, VA, is charged with wearing a mask in public.
  • Corissa C. Duffey, 25, 100 Springdale Road, Stockbridge, GA, is charged with wearing a mask in public.
  • Ian M. Gerson, 32, 00 block of Hart Street in Brooklyn, NY, is charged with wearing a mask in public.

While no injuries or accidents were reported, officials said officers would remain vigilant throughout the night.

Roads were reopened and parking restrictions were lifted Saturday evening.

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