Virginia had long been a bastion of the Republican party. That has slowly changed over time and Democrats recently gained control of the state’s legislature. They’ve moved fast to enact change and today, passed the Equal Rights Amendment.
The Democratic lawmakers are also looking to pass sweeping gun control legislation. These plans have not been popular with right-leaning groups including white supremacists who have threatened violence. On Wedensday, Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency for Virginia’s Capitol Square.
The Governor released a statement that referenced the violence in Charlottesville. He wrote, “Three years ago, Virginia and the nation, watched horrified as civil protest was marred by violence and hate. The events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia demonstrated what can happen when peaceful demonstrations are hijacked by those that come into the Commonwealth and do not value the importance of peaceful assembly. We lost three Virginians. We must take all precautions to prevent that from ever happening again.”
Northam’s missive continued:
“Credible intelligence gathered by Virginia’s law enforcement agencies indicates that tens of thousands of advocates plan to converge on Capitol Square for events culminating on January 20th, 2020. Available information suggests that a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed and hae as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting and insurrection.”
As part of Northam’s emergency declaration, weapons will not be permitted on Capitol Square or in the surrounding areas.
The complete letter from the Virginia Governor’s office can be found here.