1 Arrested, 3 Cited After Protest Disrupts Inland Port Authority Board Meeting
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Protesters disrupted a meeting of the Inland Port Authority Board at the Utah State Capitol Wednesday as they loudly and chaotically raised concerns about who was profiting and what was potentially going to be harmed by the port.
“We’ve had a history of direct actions since 1776 and it opens the door for a broader discussion,” said protester Darin Mann.
Utah Highway Patrol arrested another protester after he handcuffed himself to the door of the meeting room and then appeared on video to struggle with troopers.
More footage. Lead protestor Ethan Petersen was arrested. He resisted; Several UHP officers put him in hand cuffs. He laid down on the floor, was eventually dragged off. #utpol #utleg pic.twitter.com/xvPm6erBsb
— Katie McKellar (@KatieMcKellar1) June 5, 2019
Three other demonstrators were cited and released, per UHP Sgt. Nick Street.
A few dozen protesters chanted loudly outside the meeting room while some pounded on the door and shouted expletives.
They, along with other opponents of the board who have been less vocal, have argued the port is a ‘good ole boy network’ designed to line the pockets of Utah’s wealthy while damaging the environment.
“That wildlife corridor and the migratory birds need that as a refuge,” Mann said. “We do not need an Inland Port.”
In this clip, oil and gas lobbyist Jeff Hartley blocked me from exiting the committee room to observe Ethan Petersen’s arrest.
"We're going to have this every freaking meeting unless you guys ignore them," Hartley said.
— Katie McKellar (@KatieMcKellar1) June 6, 2019
A board meeting in April was postponed after a similar protest, but the board continued working Wednesday, hiring Jack Hedge as executive director.
The board’s chair, Derek Miller, declined an interview with reporters after the meeting and instead issued a statement.
“We are grateful for members of the public who attended and provided comment in a lawful and respectful manner,” the statement read, “and for those that continue to engage and participate in the public process and public outreach forums.”
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