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Caravan-style protest descends on Kentucky capitol

Protesters began lining up around 11 a.m. on Friday. (Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton)
Protesters began lining up around 11 a.m. on Friday. (Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton)(WKYT)
Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 11:52 AM EDT
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Protests in Frankfort focusing on re-opening the Kentucky economy took the form of a drive around the state capitol on Friday.

Two days ago, protesters flocked to the capitol to protest the closing of small businesses. The protest Friday appears to have developed from that demonstration.

Around 11 a.m. on Friday, about a half-dozen cars had gathered, but that number has rapidly grown. Demonstrators are driving around the capitol building, expressing concern over rules that have kept businesses closed during the pandemic.

The caravan-style protest is the only kind that is being allowed currently, after Wednesday’s protest disrupted Governor Andy Beshear’s daily COVID-19 briefing.

On Thursday, Doctor Steven Stack, the Public Health Commissioner, said protesters needed to ensure safe social distancing, and that demonstrations would have to be drive-in or drive-through in nature.

Demonstrators tell WKYT they want some businesses to be able to re-open, and they feel that social distancing protocols have made that impractical. Protesters have also said the current restrictions are infringing on their constitutional right.

“When they started collecting license plate numbers that was one step too far,” says Brett Beaderson, one of the protesters. “And seeing what is happening in Michigan and other states, he needs to have some liberty pressure on him.”

Kentucky State Police are in the area around the capitol, and have blocked off certain areas.

The lawn area in the back of the capitol is also closed, and barricades are up to keep people away from the portico area.