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Downtown Mall Businesses Plan to Remain Open During Controversial Rally

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Downtown Mall in Charlottesville Downtown Mall in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The planned rally by a hate group in Charlottesville Saturday afternoon is just blocks away from a number of busy shops and boutiques.

However, some owners say it will be conducting business as usual.

The rally by members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is set to start in Justice Park at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 8.

Some people NBC29 spoke with say they will avoid the downtown area because they anticipate trouble. Others say they will treat it like any other day.

“I'm still going to come to work on Saturday, and I think it’s actually important that we show we're not afraid of the negativity it brings to Charlottesville,” Java Java employee Ilana Shapiro said.

The Charlottesville Police Department says it will station eight officers on the Downtown Mall Saturday as an extra precaution for businesses and shoppers.

“We're still here, we're still going to support anyone that comes in. We want people to come to our coffee shop nevertheless,” said Shapiro.