Beshear: Kentucky State Capitol grounds to close Sunday

Published 10:40 am Saturday, January 16, 2021

With an increased threat of domestic terrorism at state capitols following the Jan. 6 attack by on the U.S. Capitol and to ensure the safety of Frankfort residents, Gov. Andy Beshear has heightened security measures, including closing the Capitol grounds on Sunday.

“There have been domestic terror threats against state capitols all over the United States. Our commitment is that what happened at the U.S. Capitol will not happen here,” Beshear said in a news release. “We have the commitment and participation of the Kentucky State Police, Frankfort Police and the Kentucky National Guard to ensure the safety of everyone in this area. There have been no requests for permits for gatherings at the Capitol in the coming days, so there are no gatherings or rallies that can or should be happening.”

The FBI warned of a right-wing march on the U.S. Capitol that was scheduled for Sunday and had been advertised for several weeks.

A flyer that was sent online to various groups in mid-December states, “When democracy is destroyed, Refuse To Be Silenced: Armed March on Capitol Hill and All State Capitols, Jan. 17, 2021 @ 12 p.m.”

The flyer added, in smaller print, “Over two hundred years ago, our founding fathers fought for the rights and liberties of this nation. Don’t let their efforts be in vain. Demand freedom. End the corruption. Stand up for liberty.”

A group called Defensive Training Group featured the flyer on its website on Dec. 23, though it was only forwarding the message. It’s unclear when it was first sent out or who conceived of the protest.

According to the flyer, the protest would be “the single largest protest advocating for the rights and freedoms of all people in the United States.”

“In every capitol in every U.S. state and at the federal Capitol in Washington, D.C., attendees are asked to arrive armed with signs, sound making devices, speeches planned and whatever attire makes their statement the most pronounced,” the flyer said.