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Inland Port protesters respond to state and local allegations

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — A group of protesters are responding after the governor called their actions “borderline terrorism.

The group held a press conference at the Sierra Club Thursday. They said they are local organizers and they did not condone the violence that happened Tuesday.

Local organizers told ABC4 News those who got violent were Salt Lake City Police Officers and offset factions. 

Carlos Martinez who is with the Rose Park SLC Brown Berets says, “We were very clear about what this was. It was a civil disobedience, we were occupying space that belongs to the public.”

Local Inland Port protesters spent 45 minutes explaining they were at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce on a peace mission to combat climate change, and the unlivable conditions the Inland Port would create using song and dance.

These organizers said it was a step they had to take because there is no action when talking to public officials or mass media.

“That has gotten us nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. This is not an isolated incident, this is something that’s been a confabulation of an isolated struggle for many people here today,” Martinez added.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said there will be an investigation into the protests with the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office. We asked if the local Inland Port organizers would cooperate. 

“We will cooperate in what ways we need to. However, we are not going to be martyrs for this either,” a young man who only wants to go by the name of Anco said.

Anco said he is apart of the Communist Party and organized the protest event. He said they did have help from outside sources on the protests and they learned a lot from Tuesday’s events.

Related: Protesters leave trash behind after fighting against Inland Port environmental impact

“I think there should be a lot more discussion of possible violence breaking out and having training among us on how to mitigate that and how to have that outside of a crowd,” Anco said.

The local organizers feel racism played a part on Tuesday and is integrated in the Inland Port discussions. 

Inland Port protesters said because of their actions there is now a target on the organizer’s backs. They said there will be more protests because think they struck a chord with everyday workers about the Inland Port and expect more people to come out in opposition. 

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