SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – It was a standoff between protestors and police in riot geat.
No one blinked, but no one crossed the lines.
The standoff at 100 South and State Strteet ended peacefully and it also brought Monday’s protest rally to a close.
Hundreds of people gathered earlier at the south end of the state capitol awaiting President Donald Trump’s arrival. He was in Utah to officially cutback two Utah national monuments by nearly two million acres. As of Monday afternoon, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante are but a fraction of what they once were.
Their message to the president was plain and simple:
“Lock him up, lock him up,” shouted protestors.”Shame on Hatch, shame on Hatch.”
Shaniah Chee, a Native American protestor was with several members of her tribes.
“The Bears Ears is our home and our sacred place,” said Chee. “And for it to be reduced and everything, it’s going to be a huge impact on the tribes.”
Some from other states, are worried they’re next.
“Our backyard is the giant sequoia national monument and we’re really worried that they’re going to shut down about 200,000 acres,” said Josh Moore.
After President Trump left the capitol, protestors hit the streets, ending at 100 South State and blocking traffic.
Police with riot gear moved in. Neither side budged but no one crossed their respective lines. The stare down continued for a half hour and then each went their way.
But environmental groups say this is the first salvo.
“Trump’s decision to remove 2 million acres from protection won’t stand,” said Scott Groene, the executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “It’s an illegal action that will be overturned in court.”
Groene said a president can create but can’t eliminate or downsize a monument. He said that’s the job of Congress. Groene said the Native American tribes will be allowed to sue first and then followed by several other organizations. He expects the lawsuits to be filed in Washington D.C.
A Facebook live of the video can be seen below. *WARNING VIDEO MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME*
Gallery of Pres.Trump’s visit: