Hundreds took to downtown Lexington streets to protest President Trump’s visit

Richard Crouch, a Lexington native, holds anti-Bevin signs ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Addison Lander

With President Donald Trump making an appearance at Rupp Arena to stump for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, hundreds of people took to both the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza and Triangle Park to make their presence known in protest on Monday.

Throughout both locations was a wide array of signs, ranging from the simple and well-recognized “Bevin sucks,” “Not My President” and “Ditch Mitch” hashtags and slogans to more-involved quips, such as, “Super Callous Fragile Racist Sexist Nazi POTUS.”

At the courthouse plaza, protesters and passersby alike saw a large inflated balloon in the shape of the president as a baby, and smaller versions of the balloon were distributed.

One student, art major and sophomore Morgan Curry, was taking pictures with her friends at the courthouse plaza in front of the inflatable Baby Trump balloon.

“It’s pretty cool to see in person,” Curry said about the balloon, going on to mention how it was nice to see “people of all ages coming together for common issues.”

Curry said she heard about the inflatable from one of her friends and decided that she wanted to go see it for herself to show her support, and to also see how much support it would receive from others.

Among the protesters, there were people holding signs related to teachers and the education system. The signs referenced Gov. Matt Bevin’s and Kentucky Republican legislative efforts to reshape the teachers’ pension system during Bevin’s term in office.

As the time for the rally to start drew near, the number of protesters at the courthouse plaza dwindled as people started to conglomerate at Triangle Park.

With the increased numbers of people came increased amounts of chants, including, “Lock him up!”, “Vote Bevin out!” and “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!”

A number of people were holding signs that stated, “We Vape, We Vote,” and they started chanting the very same line, along with the other chants. The people holding those signs were protesting President Trump’s proposed plans to ban vape flavors.

Among the groups present, the Kentucky Smoke Free Association was represented by Vice President Tony Florence and other members.

In addition, some Club Vape employees were holding signs carrying the same message.

Kyle Burgess, the general manager of the Florence location, declared, “Our business is on the line.”

Burgess said that he wanted to see a change in the Trump administration’s plans, or else he will certainly be voting against him in the coming election.

One of the employees, Jamie Adams, said she believes the proposed flavor ban is ridiculous, and that she was tired of all the false media surrounding vaping.

Police eventually closed Main Street next to Triangle Park and the protesters moved into the street. Their numbers swelled to several hundred, as they continued chanting while the Trump rally continued inside Rupp Arena.