Starting July 26, the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library in Pueblo will be closed Sundays due to the administration’s concerns for safety. The action is in response to “increased presence of individuals who are not readily identifiable as members of law enforcement who are openly carrying assault weapons in the immediate area,” according to a news release.
The individuals have been regularly seen at ongoing protests calling for the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue in the city. The library does not say if the armed individuals are protesters or counter-protesters, but refers to these individuals as “armed vigilantes” and claims a number of them are “dressed in riot gear and openly brandishing firearms and weapons.”
Service will shift to the Barkman Library on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The protest group, For the People - Pueblo is committed to protesting every weekend until Columbus’ statue is removed. Police have removed multiple protesters in past weekends and separated the protesters and counter-protesters with caution tape.
Editor's note: This story originally misstated the affiliation of the armed individuals. We regret the error.