SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- Protestors who spoke out against the Inland Port Project appeared for the first time in court Tuesday.
All ten defendants plead not guilty to a slew of charges stemming from what police call “violent protesting” which happened back in July.
Before court, protesters gathered in front of the Matheson Courthouse peacefully asking the state to drop those charges.
“When I say ‘no’, you say ‘charges’! –‘No!’ -Charges!’,” protesters said.
The ten protesters are charged with felonies and misdemeanors.
One of the men allegedly spit in an officer’s face during the protest
The demonstration started outside the City and County Building before protestors marched to occupy the lobby of the Salt Lake Chamber.
Officials say protesters destroyed more than $6-7,000 worth of city property.
The Inland Port Project will develop in Salt Lake City’s Northeast quadrant.
The defendants say the project will hurt the environment.
“These charges are a blatant act of political repression. The Inland Port harms our community and we as defendants are members of this community- these charges need to be dropped now,” defendant Kaden Fralick said.
Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill says he isn’t against protesting but demonstrators must follow the law. He wouldn’t say if the court plans to drop the charges.
“This is not about political repression what so ever, this so about our office having a duty to enforce the law to balance those competing needs between order and civil disobedience and that’s what we are doing” Gill said.
The ten protesters are scheduled to be back in court on February 7th at 1:30 p.m.
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