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Salt Lake City protesters clash with police during Utah ‘Dump Trump’ rally

By Dalek Pretorius |
March 19, 2016
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 Thousands rally against Trump in Salt Lake City.
Thousands rally against Trump in Salt Lake City. (Fight Back! News / Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - 2500 people gathered to protest a Trump rally in Salt Lake City on Friday night, March 19. The University of Utah Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organized the Dump Trump rally. Protesters began to gather at the Salt Lake City and County Building at 6:00 p.m. What began as a crowd of a few dozen swelled to hundreds, then thousands.

Ricky Bonacks, an SDS member, started off the rally, by telling protesters, “We make America great. We may not run America yet, but we make America run - poor, working class people.”

Theresa Nielson of Students for a Democratic Society followed with a message encouraging people to take up activism, noting that “voting will not get rid of our problems. We must fight and struggle together.”

Alyssa Faith from the Utah Anti-War Committee focused on Trump’s foreign policy statements “Trump is a racist, islamophobic hate mongerer.” Faith stated, “Trump has no respect for the law, just like Adolph Hitler. Trump said that he would kill the family of suspected terrorists. When he was told this is illegal he said he would change the law. When he was told he couldn't change international law he said he didn't care about the law.” She also examined Trump’s approach to the war on Iraq, “Trump said he would make the Iraqi people pay us back for their liberation. Liberation from what? It was pure imperialism.”

Nick Godfrey, a member of Teamsters Local 222 spoke on Trump’s abuse of workers. “Trump’s wealth came first from a huge inheritance and then from the backs of poor immigrants.”

Dennis Potter from Utah’s Socialist Alternative stated,”Republicans act like he's hijacking their party. Republicans have cultivated the climate for Trump for years.”

Muna Omar from the University of Utah Students for Justice in Palestine spoke on Trump’s pro-Israel stance, stating, “When asked about his call for a wall along the border with Mexico Trump responded the a wall is working fine for Israel.” She also stated, “Trump is not the problem, the support for Trump is the problem. Trump doesn't believe what he says, but his supporters do. It's not Trump I hate, it's the people he represents.”

Ian Decker from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization said, “Trump represents the most dangerous element of the American body politic. We need a world where people can live without fear. It can't end here - we need to fight, we need to unite, we need to organize.”

Gregory Lucero from Utah Against Police Brutality told the crowd, “If I get arrested tonight I’m willing to sacrifice my job, my livelihood, because Trump is that dangerous.”

Lucero said, “If Trump is elected he will be top cop. It he’s elected we will see an increase in police brutality.” After pointing out Trump’s connection with the Ku Klux Klan he added, “Salt Lake isn’t a city for the Klan, it’s our city.” He emphasized that the struggle wasn't over once Trump left the state. “We need to fight all the little Trumps in the police department, the mayor’s office and the city council.”

After the speeches, protesters took turns voicing their opposition to Trump and beating a Trump piñata. After that, the crowd began to march toward the rally venue behind the SDS banner. When the protesters reached the rally venue they faced off against Trump supporters.

Protesters chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” “Dump Trump he’s a Trump!” “Shut it down!” “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Trump and Klan go hand in hand!”

Tensions rose between protesters, Trump supporters and police about three hours after the rally took place. Near the end of the rally, a tent in front of the entrance of the venue was torn down and a line of riot police pushed protesters onto the street. In spite of this, no arrests were reported. The police attempted to disperse the protesters who chanted “Hell no! We won’t go!” and “We have a right to protest.” Trump supporters were prevented from leaving the venue for a half hour after the rally because of the protest. Although the police blocked the protesters’ path back to the City And County Building at the end of the rally, organizers took a different route without incident.

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