Dallas police preparing for weekend rally

The city of Dallas is getting ready for a rally Saturday evening to show support for diversity and unification across the country.

Dallas police are preparing in case anything like what happened in Virginia last weekend was to break out here.

One person was killed and several others injured when fights broke out as well as a car driving into the crowds Saturday in Charlottesville. It was supposed to be a simple protest of the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

The rally organizer's Facebook page indicates some 3,200 people plan to attend the rally in Dallas. While Dallas police won't say how many officers will be assigned or what specific security plans they have in place, they do plan to have emergency operations center up and running just in case.

Eric Ramsey group, In Solidarity, is hosting the anti-white supremacy rally. He hopes the rally doesn't grow out of hand.

"We have had several comments from both sides suggesting people bring weaponry, be ready to fight. That sort of thing," he said.

Ramsey says he's also received death threats and is being called a "race traitor."

In Solidarity also wants Confederate war monuments to be removed in the city. It's drawn the attention of those trying to understand what removing the statues would mean. But it's also drawn attention from counter-protestors in favor of keeping them.

Organizers say police will likely set up barricades to separate the two groups.

Community activist Alia Salem will be one of the speakers at the Dallas against White Supremacy Rally Saturday evening at city hall.

"We do not want to see white supremacy grow any more than it has,” she said.

Organizers say the rally is to show solidarity and diversity. Salem says her message will be simple.

"We want to say no, that we don't stand for that,” she said. “And we're not going to let it take hold in our city."

The rally is in response to the violence and chaos in Charlottesville Saturday afternoon that left one woman dead and more than 20 injured.

Dallas police are preparing for the local rally and say they will have experienced crowd control officers at the rally along with special response teams nearby to deploy quickly if there's trouble. The department says it will also have other local and state agencies there for resources and support.

In a statement, the Dallas Police Department says it “will not interfere with a lawful and peaceful assembly.” But the department will take enforcement action if any type of criminal offense is committed against any person or property or if demonstrators illegally impede traffic in the roadway or attempt to shut down a freeway.

"We are also asking people to not bring small children," Ramsey said. "Just for the sake of if things were to turn south, we don't want children present. But in all honesty, I'm not expecting it to get bad at all."

Salem says she hopes people will see Dallas as a city of tolerance.

"A community that doesn't tolerate racism of any form, doesn't tolerate any group that feels they are supreme over another group,” she said.

The group's hope is the focus to be on their message.

"At the end of the day, I would rather convey my message as peacefully as possible," Ramsey said.

Dallas police are also monitoring social media and reviewing potential counter protest.

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