Republican-Controlled Virginia Assembly Rejects Raft of Bills to Prevent Rallies
(VOA): The Republican-controlled Virginia General Assembly has rejected every bill brought before it to prevent a recurrence of the white nationalist rally that turned deadly last summer, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Most of the bills were introduced by lawmakers from the city of Charlottesville, where the rally took place, and dealt with issues such as Confederate monuments, gun regulations and armed militias. They were inspired by the rally organized to protest the removal of the statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Confrontations between hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists who came to support the rally and leftist counterprotesters turned violent quickly. Hours later, as hundreds of counterprotesters were marching through a downtown street, a car slammed into the crowd, killing one woman and injuring dozens more. Some Democratic lawmakers contend their Republican colleagues put party politics ahead of public safety in rejecting the bills. But Republicans largely criticized the bills as bad policy. Also Wednesday, the two statues at the center of last year’s rally were once again on display in Charlottesville parks. The monuments, until Wednesday, were hidden under tarps as a sign of mourning. But a circuit court judge on Tuesday ruled that the city had 15 days to remove the black plastic sheeting covering the statues. Judge Richard Moore said the city leaders had not specified how long the statues would be covered and that the covers hurt the public’s ability to enjoy the parks. The city complied with the ruling early Wednesday.
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Published Date: Thursday, March 1st, 2018 | 12:45 PM