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    Cover photo courtesy Kentucky Poor People's Campaign Facebook

    On Monday, Kentucky State Police barred protestors from entering the Kentucky Capitol during regular hours of operation, saying only two demonstrators could enter the building at a time.

    That apparently new rule didn’t sit well with the 400-some protestors on the front steps, among them the Rev. Dr. William Barber, a progressive theologian at the fore of the Poor People’s Campaign who has participated in public talks with Bernie Sanders. It didn’t sit well with State Representatives Attica Scott of Louisville and George A. Brown Jr. of Lexington, either.

    The two Democrats sent letters to Attorney General Andy Beshear and the Kentucky State Police Commissioner, Rick Sanders. They believe the policy may have violated the law, and they had some questions: Does this policy apply to everyone, or only those deemed protestors? What about guests of public officials? How about kids on school trips? “To our eyes, this sudden change seems arbitrary and, to be charitable, specifically targeted at those protesting policies of those in political power,” they wrote to Sanders.

    The letter Reps. Attica Scott and George A. Brown Jr. sent Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders.

    Josh Lawson, the public affairs commander for the state police headquarters in Frankfort, told the Courier-Journal that the two-at-a-time policy was put in place after a group of protestors spent the night in the Capitol recently. He also said the protestors from the Poor People’s Campaign had not asked for approval to protest inside the building.

    But the protestors were visiting the Capitol during the hours it purports to be open to the public. Apparently, the state doesn’t consider you a member of the public if you happen to disagree with people in positions of power and have more than one friend.

    The Poor People’s Campaign is a movement of anti-poverty activists engaging in demonstrations, civil disobedience and social media outreach. The movement’s slogan: “A national call for moral revival.”

    Barber has said the campaign will return to Frankfort. Next time, we’ll see if the state is still too chicken to let everyone through the door.




    Dylon Jones's picture

    About Dylon Jones

    Dylon Jones is a senior editor at Louisville Magazine.

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