RICHMOND, Va. -- Monday is Lobby Day in Richmond, and the Richmond Police Department has announced several road closures in preparation for demonstrations.
Capitol Square will be closed to the public, but thousands are still expected to gather in the downtown Richmond area.
"If you live or work in the area surrounding Capitol Square and downtown, you should expect disruptions to your usual routines," said a Richmond Police spokesperson.
Police say traffic will be impacted starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday, January 17 until 6 p.m. Monday, January 18.
The following roads will be closed during that time period:
- 9th Street between E. Main Street and E. Broad Street
- 10th Street between E. Cary Street and Bank Street
- East Main Street between 14th Street and 9th Street
- Bank Street between 14th Street and Governor Street
- Franklin Street between 8th and 9th Streets
- Franklin Street between 7th and 8th Streets
- East Grace Street between 8th and 9th Streets
- East Grace Street between 7th and 8th Streets
- 12th Street between Cary Street and Bank Street
- Monument Avenue between Meadow Street and Lombardy Street
- Allen Avenue between W. Grace Street and Park Avenue
Police say additional roads may be closed temporarily as needed.
Richmond Police say they are continuing to monitor activity in and around Richmond, as well as working with other law enforcement agencies.
"Operations and personnel are in place to address public safety needs," said a police spokesperson.
Reminder: Signs (as pictured) have been put up throughout the City of Richmond to inform those who may gather that firearms are prohibited at permitted events and events that would otherwise require a permit, as well as areas adjacent to such events. pic.twitter.com/sOMZhPEKie— Richmond Police (@RichmondPolice) January 15, 2021
The departments says they have posted signs prohibiting firearms throughout the city "to inform those who may gather that firearms are prohibited at permitted events and events that would otherwise require a permit, as well as areas adjacent to such events."
Police are encouraging the public to remain vigilant and report any any suspicious activity by calling the non-emergency line at 804-646-5100 or 911 for emergencies.
Richmond Mayor: ‘Assault on democracy... will not be tolerated’
Mayor Stoney said officials have been planning for weeks for the General Assembly's upcoming Lobby Day, which drew thousands of armed gun-rights advocates to Capitol Square last year.
"Last year's Lobby Day, while unsettling in many ways for the proliferation of firearms on our streets, came and went peacefully, Stoney said. "We have the same expectation for lawful demonstration this year, and expect your full cooperation and respect."
The mayor said his administration's goal is the same: "Respect and protect the right to peacefully demonstrate regardless of your viewpoint, and to safeguard the public health and safety of Richmond's residents, and their property."
Stoney said that while everyone has a right to be heard, Richmonders also have a "right to be safe and free from fear and intimidation."
"So let me be clear, the violent, lawless insurrection and assault on democracy and its institutions that unfolded last week in Washington, D.C., will not be tolerated in the City of Richmond," Stoney said. "I don't care who you are, we will protect the city, this capitol, this Commonwealth, and the lives and property of all the law abiding people who live here."