State capitols across the country, including Kentucky’s, are preparing for demonstrations starting Sunday, on the last weekend of Trump’s presidency.
Many are bracing for protests to turn violent following the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Governor Andy Beshear said repeatedly Kentucky was prepared for any type of rally.
On the Saturday before the inauguration, all was quiet at the Kentucky State Capitol. People living nearby said they are expecting a large presence on the grounds Sunday.
“Mayor Wilkerson had sent out [a message] to say basically, stay away from capitol grounds this weekend,” homeowner Monty Schoolfield said.
The grounds officially close Sunday, but people were seen walking their dogs, and strolling with their young children Saturday.
One woman who lives in the area said she doesn’t feel comfortable ahead of a possible rally. She did not want to reveal her identity for security reasons.
“I understand the First Amendment and I support the First Amendment however, there’s a line that needs to be drawn when the potential safety of neighbors, especially since we’re in a neighborhood, there’s a line of safety that needs to be drawn,” she said.
Earlier in the week, tables and chairs were removed from the grounds, and signs were put up blocking off entrances. Beshear said repeatedly no groups had applied for a permit to rally.
“Even though permits are required, there’s a lot of groups that don’t necessarily have permits and they may just show up just to do their thing and if that happens then we have no warning ,” said a woman living near the capitol building.
Schoolfield has a front row seat to most demonstrations at the capitol, because of his house’s proximity to the grounds.
“When it’s going on, we just don’t go that way,” he said.
The father said he doesn’t want to live in fear, but he does want to be prepared.
“There’s been a lot of armed militia-type people, and with events at the U.S. Capitol, you just don’t know what they’re going to do,” Schoolfield said.
A few Kentucky State Police Cars circled the building Saturday afternoon, into the evening.
Beshear said he would bring in the Kentucky National Guard to help local law enforcement if events escalated, but several people living in the homes nestled beside the capitol have concerns.
“If something were to go down, I wouldn’t want to be sitting in my house and have a stray bullet coming through.”