Preparations around Capitol Square being made ahead of potential demonstrations

Preparations around Capitol Square being made ahead of potential demonstrations
Demonstrations in Capitol Square canceled Monday, protective wall to go up

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Preparations are happening at Capitol Square ahead of Lobby Day due to the potential for demonstrations around the Richmond area.

The Virginia Department of General Services is implementing precautionary measures to protect employees, visitors, buildings and grounds at Capitol Square.

Some of these state restrictions could last awhile. Not only are there planned demonstrations near the Capitol in Richmond, but officials also want to make sure state lawmakers are safe ahead of Lobby Day come Monday. Then there’s the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. next Wednesday.

A very visible police presence could be seen at the Virginia Capitol Wednesday. On top of Capitol Police patrolling the premises, there are barricades and fencing in place. Although people took a stroll on Capitol Square Wednesday, they won’t be able to do so Thursday as the state is shutting it down.

With possible demonstrations happening at capitol buildings across the country, there will be even more security measures in Richmond that you won’t be able to see. Signs are in place reminding guns are not allowed at or around permitted events.

“Anytime people bring armed ammunition, you get scared right? Anything could go down.” Alok Baral said as he walked past the Capitol. He is glad to see stepped up security ahead of the unknown. “It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially since what you saw at the [U.S.] Capitol happen.”

“We’ve had these protests come through here before. People been acting crazy all year,” Trey Owens of Soul Taco said. While some downtown businesses are considering boarding up, he’s not. “We do have a plan in place to make sure that my employees are safe and all of that but I believe tacos are a bi-partisan issue...If they’re that mad to break out the windows in a small business, then we’ll just sling tacos out of the window,” he said.

Richmond police are telling people to stay vigilant. While they’re stepping up security along with Capitol Police, they remind you if you see something, say something.

The following roads will be closed beginning Sunday morning through 6 p.m. Monday:

  • 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

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