Two Utah groups are holding a rally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in downtown Salt Lake City that they are billing as “a day of action against the outgoing Trump administration.”
The rally is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Monday at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, where people will hear from speakers from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Utah Against Police Brutality, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Salt Lake Equal Rights Movement, as well as other community groups and churches.
Organizers may lead a march to a destination nearby, but they’re keeping the route private because of the risk of violent counterprotesters.
Organizers of the event, called “Rally for a People’s Agenda,” ask participants to demand “community control of the police,” an end to deportation, legalization for undocumented immigrants, action against climate change, and immediate economic relief for workers impacted by the pandemic, among other issues.
The rally takes place a day after an underwhelming protest at the Utah Capitol led by anti-government Boogaloo bois who were met by law enforcement. Of the 15 or so protesters, eight were Boogaloos, and the rest a handful of Trump supporters who quietly waved flags for hours.
But scores of police officers and National Guard troops surrounded the Capitol building. The Boogaloos called the massive law enforcement presence a “joke” and taunted officers from their vantage point south of the Capitol entrance.
Police say the heightened security — which was called for after the FBI warned of potential violence this weekend — helped ensure the small protest stayed peaceful.
Every state is bracing for more protests between now and Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Washington, D.C., has had a heavy military and police presence ever since a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election results. That same day, hundreds of pro-Trump activists protested the election results at the Utah Capitol.