Since Town staff and elected leaders are receiving e-mails and questions about the August 12 rally downtown, I thought I would post general version of my personal response to these messages.
The Town of Vienna is very much aware the event planned for Sunday evening in Lafayette Park and that rally participants and counter demonstrators may be planning to travel downtown using Metro from the Vienna station. The Vienna Police Department has already been coordinating with regional law enforcement partners and emergency management organizations with regard to the event as well as keeping the elected leaders informed (myself included). Information is posted to the Town’s website and social media accounts.
Because of the close proximity of the Vienna Metro Station to the Town of Vienna limits, the Vienna Police Department will be increasing staffing levels throughout the weekend to so that Town residents are not adversely impacted in their daily activities and to address any potential spillover issues. Metro has also posted information about service this weekend. The Town will continue to closely monitor events and will update safety-related information and links to resources as they become available. I would also suggest that, if you have not already done so, to sign up for Vienna Alerts which provides text messages on important Town-related safety information.
While any community can be reflective and learn, I fully believe that our Vienna community respects and values all people. I especially see this with our young people. While as abhorrent as I personally find this group’s positions and others whose main purpose is to incite violence, I do support anyone’s right to peacefully assemble and voice their opinions while acting within the law. I also support community members’ right to peacefully protest in response to this group’s activities and would ask that you be mindful of your personal safety as well. However, as a Town government, necessarily Vienna must remain neutral and committed to protecting the safety and constitutional rights of all citizens, visitors, and rally participants equally.