Hundreds of protesters expected at Global Prayer rally held at LSU, law enforcement prepared

Hundreds of protesters expected at Global Prayer Rally held at LSU, law enforcement prepared

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On Saturday, LSU will host one of the biggest prayer rallies to hit the Capital City. A group known for opposing gay rights has rented out the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) for the service. That has frustrated some organizations.

Plans are under way at LSU to keep the peace.

LSU Police Captain Corey Lalonde and his team of officers are preparing for an event like no other that has landed on the campus.

The American Family Association (AFA) is known its opposition of gay rights, has planned a day of prayer at the PMAC.

"We're expecting thousands, possibly," Lalonde said.

While law enforcement officers are used to handling large crowds at sporting events, Lalonde said this one calls for a different kind of security.

"When you get to issues that people get heated about, those kinds of things can happen. It's something we have to be prepared for but not necessarily expect," Lalonde stated.

State and city police will be nearby to help with crowd control. But Lalonde said he has done more than call on extra law enforcement, he has also contacted organizers who have planned protests outside of the PMAC.

"Everyone has the right to express their opinions but we want to make sure if it's done on campus that it's done in the safest manner possible," Lalonde said.

The Capital City Alliance (CCA) is one group that plans to protest the rally.

Board member, Dave Samuels, said the CCA is also taking steps make sure protesters don't get out of hand.

"We're going to pass out rules to suggest that everyone remains civil, that it's an educational event, and to try not to engage in aggressive or destructive behavior," Samuels said.

Samuels said protesters will instead find a series of panels and workshops where they can share their opinions and work to have their voices heard. Lalonde said, just like any other event on campus, officers will be on standby.

"We are not expecting anything extremely confrontational but we are preparing for the possibilities. You can never tell," Lalonde said.

The rally is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. North stadium road will be closed during that time.

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