Heavily Armed Protesters Gather Outside Kentucky Capitol For Militia Rally

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Heavily Armed Protesters Gather Outside Kentucky Capitol For Militia Rally
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Approximately 100 protesters, many of whom were heavily armed, assembled outside of the Kentucky Capitol building on Saturday afternoon while both chambers of the General Assembly were in session, for a “patriot rally,” mere days after pro-Trump protesters violently infiltrated the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Protesters Rally Outside Kentucky Derby Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor

LOUISVILLE, KY – SEPTEMBER 05: A right-wing protester crosses the street with a firearm on September … [+] 5, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Ahead of the Kentucky Derby, demonstrators clashed over recent looting and destruction in the area and the death of Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro police officers during a no-knock raid at her apartment on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)


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Key Facts

The “United Kentucky” Facebook posted on their page that the demonstration would be “the biggest patriot rally the state of Kentucky has ever seen.”

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the protesters in attendance railed against socialism and communism, were heavily critical of Kentucky senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, and called for the impeachment of Gov. Andy Beshear.

Guns are permitted on the Capitol grounds in Kentucky and inside much of the state’s Capitol building itself, but the building is closed to those without appointments due to coronavirus protocols. 

The nearly three-hour event was peaceful, with “no apparent acts of violence or attempts by participants to enter the statehouse,” the Louisville Courier Journal reported.

One of the armed protesters was wearing camouflage from head to toe and carrying several zip ties, explaining that he brought them “just in case.

Crucial Quote: 

“Three days after domestic terrorists attacked our U.S. Capitol, there was a militia rally in Frankfort. They brought zip ties. We will not be intimidated,” Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted Saturday. “We will not be bullied. America is counting on the real patriots. Those who condemn hate and terror when they see it.”

Key Background:

In a controversial move, Twitter suspended President Trump from its platform on Friday evening. In a statement explaining the decision, the company said, “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” A potential “secondary attack” on the U.S. Capitol or other state government facilities was an important factor in their decision. “Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter,” their statement read. Right-wing organizers have promoted a “Million Militia March” on Election Day, Jan. 20.

Tangent:

In May, protesters gathered at the Kentucky State Capitol to protest Gov. Beshear’s coronavirus restrictions. Pastor Cliff Christman told the assembled crowd that covid-19 “has been one of the biggest shams in world history,” adding, “Grown men have been hiding in (their) homes nearly wetting their pants over this invisible enemy that nobody sees.” According to Louisville Courier Journal, at the end of the rally, an effigy of Beshear was hanged from a tree outside the Capitol. 

Further Reading:

Protesters, many armed, gather for a ‘patriot rally’ outside Kentucky state Capitol (LCJ) 

Armed protesters gather outside KY Capitol, rail against McConnell, Paul and Beshear (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Beshear hanged in effigy as Second Amendment supporters rally at Capitol before Memorial Day (LCJ)

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