Protests marked the start of a special session of the Virginia General Assembly Tuesday, as demonstrators lined the sidewalks outside the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond as state lawmakers discussed the coronavirus pandemic and police reform.
One group of protesters, organized by the Virginia New Majority, called for rent relief and halting evictions amid the pandemic, while another group of roughly 50 people, many of whom were carrying rifles and wearing camouflage, gathered at the state Capitol in support of gun rights, Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
A woman from South Richmond, who said she’s currently facing eviction, added that a member of her family suffered from COVID-19 and that her husband couldn’t work due to the virus.
“I feel like we have no voice in the country,” she said in Spanish, the Times-Dispatch reported. “I think if we stay together we’re going to win.”
Gov. Ralph Northam, meanwhile, plans to adopt a more restrained approach resulting from the pandemic and the need for better data on state policing.