Supporters of President Trump planning to protest in Lafayette on Saturday may have to find a new location.
The Hold the Line Rally, scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday to show support for Trump, directs participants to gather at Ambassador Row at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Johnston Street.
However, the owner of the shopping center at that intersection has obtained signed letters of trespass and told Lafayette Police, "they don't want anybody on their property," Sgt. Wayne Griffin, spokesperson for the police department, said Wednesday.
Organizers do not have a permit and don't need one as long as they remain on the public sidewalk or on private property, with permission from the property owner.
Griffin said anyone parking in the Ambassador Row shopping center parking lot who isn't shopping at any of its stores can be towed by the property owners, not the police. Law enforcement officers probably will first warn violators they are trespassing, he said, without arrests unless someone becomes combatant.
Holly Sanders organized the rally, which she said on 98.5 Newstalk's The Ross Report on Tuesday will be a peaceful event to show support for Trump.
"We have a right as citizens of this country to gather peacefully and voice our support of" Trump, Sanders said. "We, as patriots that are for Trump, are going to continue to support him."
The leaders of a local activist group, The Village, which helped lead protest marches last summer after the police killing of Trayford Pellerin in Lafayette, called on its followers not to show up in opposition to the Trump event.
“I would ask that all of the citizens of Lafayette, all of you who have followed us and who have continued to push this movement, who have supported us, that you would stay away from these activities,” said the group’s president, Devon Norman. “We have no desire to engage in civil war.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives for the second time voted to impeach Trump for inciting a mob of supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 as the House and Senate met to certify the electoral votes from the November presidential election in which Joe Biden defeated Trump.
He is the only president impeached twice. Conviction is in the hands of the Senate.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are coordinating and preparing for possible unrest over the the next week as Biden's inauguration approaches on Jan. 20.