Members of the National Socialists Movement and the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan salute during a rally Saturday April 21, 2012, at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. At least 70 law enforcement officers were present to control a crowd of 150 to 200 demonstrators when a group of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members rallied against illegal immigration on the steps of the Kentucky Capitol.
At least 70 law enforcement officers were present to control a crowd of 150 to 200 demonstrators when a group of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members rallied against illegal immigration Saturday afternoon on the steps of the Kentucky Capitol.
Lt. Brian Bowling of the Kentucky State Police, who is in charge of Capitol security, said no arrests were made and Maj. Fred Deaton of the Frankfort Police Department said no physical altercations occurred during the event that lasted about 90 minutes.
Members of the KKK, wearing hoods and robes, joined black-suited neo-Nazis, who carried swastika flags and shouted “Sig heil,” while the crowd of counter-protesters lining the sidewalk screamed “Go home!”
“We’re not a hate group,” said Schoep, the first speaker at the rally. “We’re a white civil rights organization.”
But counterdemonstrators, including members of the Fairness Campaign and other groups, said the neo-Nazis’ message was hateful.
Ariana Lackey, of Frankfort, and her 18-year-old son Aaron Lackey stood silently as they watched. The mother said that when she was a girl, her father took her to watch a Ku Klux Klan rally in Okolona. More than 30 years later, she was doing the same thing with Aaron.
“I brought my son here because I want him to see hate in his face,” she said. “It’s a learning experience for him.”
Aaron Lackey said the neo-Nazis were trying to “create tension, to get under people’s skin,” but he refused to be provoked.
While Nazi supporters yelled that God hates homosexuals, Victoria King, of Lawrenceburg, held a sign with a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Part of the prayer, she said, is “‘Where there is darkness, let me sow light.’”
“This is pretty dark,” she said.
A woman waves her Bible at a rally by members of the National Socialists Movement and the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
After the rally, the members of the National Socialist Movement and their allies were bused away from the site on Frankfort Transit vehicles, the same way they were brought in.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the size and organization of the police force helped keep the event under control.
“I think it was a good deterrent,” he said. “We were prepared for whatever we needed to handle, and fortunately, we didn’t have to handle anything.”