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Rally scheduled in Pikeville, Ky., prompts concerns about possible violence

City officials in Pikeville, Ky., say many residents have expressed concerns about possible violence at a rally planned Saturday by the National Socialist Movement. File photo shows previous rally in another part of the country. (Cropped Photo: DB King / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

City officials in Pikeville, Ky., said many residents have expressed concerns about possible violence at a rally Saturday by the National Socialist Movement.

The city said it is taking security precautions for the rally -- scheduled 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pike County Courthouse Plaza -- but it can make no guarantees how things will turn out. City officials said the permit for the rally was granted because the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions allows all groups to peacefully assemble and voice their views.

City officials said they and police have learned that other groups, counter protesters and organizations are planning to come to Pikeville and attend the rally. Some, but not all of the groups, have been known by law enforcement to have been involved in civil disobedience and inciting violence through various tactics in other parts of the country, the news release said.

Some Internet postings indicate that some of these groups expect there to be violence at the Pikeville rally, and many residents have expressed concerns.

City officials said they have consulted with local, state and national law enforcement to come up with a plan to ensure the Traditional Workers Party rally is peaceful and safe, but they said they cannot guarantee safety.

“It is difficult to determine exactly what will happen during the rally or how many people will attend,” the city news release said. “Based on similar events where violence has broken out, again, we cannot ensure the public that there will not be personal or property damage.”

The city will close Main Street and all secondary streets to all non-emergency traffic at noon Saturday.

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