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Gov. Declares State of Emergency in Advance of Capitol Square Demonstration

By the Office of Governor Ralph Northam

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today declared a state of emergency in advance of expected demonstrations on Capitol Square on Monday, January 20, 2020.

Law enforcement intelligence analysts have identified credible threats of violence surrounding the event, along with white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend. 

The Governor’s declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms, from Capitol grounds, and will provide joint law enforcement and public safety agencies the resources they need to keep demonstrators, policymakers, and all Virginians safe. 

This emergency declaration is temporary and extends from Friday, January 17 at 5 p.m. until Tuesday, January 21 at 5 p.m. 

The State of Emergency Declaration, Executive Order 49 begins: 

The Commonwealth of Virginia is a welcoming state. Virginians understand that diversity of opinion keeps our democracy strong. The more voices involved in our political dialogue, the stronger we are. Civil discourse, even and especially, amongst those who disagree, is critical to our democracy’s evolution and success. When the civility of that political discourse breaks down, the Commonwealth suffers.

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 who 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. 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 20, 2020.

Available information suggests that a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed, and have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.

Assuring that Virginia’s Capitol Square and surrounding public areas are sheltered safe places for those who come to participate in the democratic process, as well as those who work on or near Capitol Square, is my greatest priority.

READ THE FULL TEXT HERE

Bristow Beat changed the formatting of the Governor’s State of Emergency Declaration breaking the introductory paragraph into smaller pieces for the purpose of increased readability. The text was not altered in any other way. 

© 2020, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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