Group ignores protest ban, plans rally at Richmond Confederate statue

In this May 30, 1890 photo provided by the Museum of the Confederacy Collection, American Civil War Museum, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is unveiled on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate monuments in the U.S. tower over a four-lane road in Richmond, a city that may become the next ground zero in the fight over Civil War statues. (Museum of the Confederacy Collection, American Civil War Museum via AP)
In this May 30, 1890 photo provided by the Museum of the Confederacy Collection, American Civil War Museum, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is unveiled on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate monuments in the U.S. tower over a four-lane road in Richmond, a city that may become the next ground zero in the fight over Civil War statues. (Museum of the Confederacy Collection, American Civil War Museum via AP) (AP)
In this May 30, 1890 photo provided by the Virginia Historical Society, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is unveiled on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate monuments in the U.S. tower over a four-lane road in Richmond, a city that may become the next ground zero in the fight over Civil War statues. (Virginia Historical Society via AP)
In this May 30, 1890 photo provided by the Virginia Historical Society, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is unveiled on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate monuments in the U.S. tower over a four-lane road in Richmond, a city that may become the next ground zero in the fight over Civil War statues. (Virginia Historical Society via AP) (AP)
Robert E. Lee
This Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, photo shows a view of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate statues in the U.S. tower over Monument Avenue, a four-lane road in Richmond. (Chad Williams/DroneBase via AP) (AP/Chad Williams)
Robert E. Lee
This Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, photo shows a view of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate statues in the U.S. tower over Monument Avenue, a four-lane road in Richmond. (Chad Williams/DroneBase via AP) (AP/Chad Williams)
FILE - This Tuesday, June 27, 2017 photo shows the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stands in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. As cities across the United States are removing Confederate statues and other symbols, dispensing with what some see as offensive artifacts of a shameful past marked by racism and slavery, Richmond is taking a go-slow approach. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
FILE – This Tuesday, June 27, 2017 photo shows the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stands in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. As cities across the United States are removing Confederate statues and other symbols, dispensing with what some see as offensive artifacts of a shameful past marked by racism and slavery, Richmond is taking a go-slow approach. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP/Steve Helber)
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In this May 30, 1890 photo provided by the Museum of the Confederacy Collection, American Civil War Museum, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is unveiled on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate monuments in the U.S. tower over a four-lane road in Richmond, a city that may become the next ground zero in the fight over Civil War statues. (Museum of the Confederacy Collection, American Civil War Museum via AP)
In this May 30, 1890 photo provided by the Virginia Historical Society, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is unveiled on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Some of the oldest and largest Confederate monuments in the U.S. tower over a four-lane road in Richmond, a city that may become the next ground zero in the fight over Civil War statues. (Virginia Historical Society via AP)
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
FILE - This Tuesday, June 27, 2017 photo shows the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stands in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. As cities across the United States are removing Confederate statues and other symbols, dispensing with what some see as offensive artifacts of a shameful past marked by racism and slavery, Richmond is taking a go-slow approach. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON — Ignoring a temporary ban on demonstrations around the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, a group has issued a statement saying it plans to move forward with a rally at that site later this month.

“This event is not canceled,” organizers said. “We will be standing up to protect the General Robert E. Lee monument from being taken down or destroyed.”

The group, called “CSA II: The New Confederate States of America,” says it wants to raise awareness about the Confederacy.

It plans to hold the rally on Sept. 16, promising to keep racist groups away and focus only on “heritage.”

“Any hate will not be stood for on our side whatsoever,” organizers said.

Public demonstrations at the monument were temporarily banned under an executive order that was signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe on the heels of deadly violence that broke out Aug. 12 at rally over a Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.

That rally attracted white supremacists, and a woman was killed when authorities say a man, who has been described as an admirer of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, drove his car through a crowd.

“There is no question under the permitting process that our job is to keep people safe,” McAuliffe told WTOP’s Ask the Governor program last week, explaining his executive order. “I can’t take it (the statue) down, but I can take actions to protect people.”

The Lee monument is in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue, an iconic boulevard featuring some of the oldest and largest Confederate statues in the country.

McAuliffe said allowing any large demonstration there would “create a safety hazard in the current circumstances.”

It is not clear how large the planned rally might be.

Richmond police are aware of the event but have not yet commented publicly on how the department will handle it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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