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Jan. 6 Capitol Protest—Utah


Pro-Trump protesters marched on the Utah statehouse on Jan. 6, 2021 as chaos unfolded in Washington, D.C. They waved STOP the STEAL banners as they protested the purported election fraud behind President Biden’s electoral victory.

One of the demonstrators said he joined the protest in Salt Lake City to make state officials “finally find the courage to do the right thing.” He added, “The Republican Party is dead as of this year. It is the party of Trump now.” A significant proportion of the protesters openly carried guns, with one of them, Michelle Prether, telling reporters, “It’s my right to carry my guns. It’s my right to conceal them. It’s my right to hold them.”  

The rally featured several speakers who expressed their ongoing devotion to Trump. One speaker, Michael Dixon, said, “We’ve been in worse places before. We’re gonna overcome this this time. And we’re gonna make sure that we win this… election. We are not going to allow this tyranny to exist.” Other speakers called for additional rallies on Jan. 20, inauguration day for President Biden. 

While participants called the protest largely “peaceful” or “calm,” members of the media were attacked, including a reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune who was pepper sprayed and another for the Tribune who was shoved by a demonstrator. Other local media outlets reported that Proud Boys members joined the demonstration and engaged in skirmishes with Black Lives Matter (BLM) counterprotesters. Additional participants were from the Utah Citizens’ Alarm, an extremist armed militia group that was founded in 2020 in response to BLM.

Governor Spencer Cox was sent home by his security detail, according to press reports. The Utah Highway Patrol said there was no mandatory evacuation of the Capitol, as some had claimed on social media, but employees were offered an early work release to help avoid any conflict.