Political leaders across the spectrum have condemned an anti-lockdown protest outside the state capitol in Kentucky during which an effigy of the governor was hung from a tree.
At least 100 people attended a Second Amendment rally at the state capitol in Frankfort on Sunday. Many of the attendees were armed and bore US and Gadsden flags that read “Don’t tread on me,” as well as placards which read “Abort Beshear from office,” and “My rights don’t end where your fear begins.”
After a failed attempt to hand-deliver a letter calling for the governor’s resignation, an effigy of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was hung from a tree outside the capitol, with a sign which read “sic semper tyrannis,” or “ever thus to tyrants” was draped around its neck.
Speaking at the rally, Pastor Cliff Christman described the coronavirus lockdown as “one of the biggest shams in world history.”
“Grown men have been hiding in [their] homes nearly wetting their pants over this invisible enemy that nobody sees,” he added.
It is not clear whether Beshear was at home at the time when the protesters attempted to deliver the letter. No local law enforcement attempted to intervene when the effigy was hung, though it was cut down shortly after.
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The head of the Kentucky 3Percenters Inc. gun rights group, Patsy Kays Bush, said she was against the hanging of the effigy but said: “We’re at the point where rallies and shouting and hollering is just not working anymore.” The ThreePercenters are a militia group which advocates gun rights under the Second Amendment as well as resistance against the federal government’s involvement in local affairs.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, also a Republican, voiced their disgust at the protest on Twitter.
.@SenateMajLdr: “As a strong defender of the First Amendment, I believe Americans have the right to peacefully protest. However, today’s action toward Governor Beshear is unacceptable. There is no place for hate in Kentucky.”
— Senator McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) May 25, 2020
This is sickening, and I condemn it. We have to learn to disagree without threats of violence. https://t.co/14jN1BNAsS
— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) May 24, 2020
They were joined by Morgan McGarvey, Kentucky’s Senate Democratic leader, who described it as “a new low,” adding that it was “disgusting and wrong.”
Kentucky has recorded over 8,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, leading to some 391 deaths though 2,826 patients have recovered.
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