Utahns React To Protests In Utah & US Capitol

Jan 7, 2021, 12:26 AM | Updated: 12:27 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — On a day when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol and pro-Trump protesters raised their voices at the Utah State Capitol, it was hard to find anyone on Utah’s Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon who wasn’t a demonstrator.

And then there was Eric Hill, who quietly sat across the street as he watched and listened.

“Every single protest that happens in Salt Lake, I try to come witness and learn a little bit from it and this was no different,” Hill said. “I live a block away, so I see everything that goes right down State Street.”

Hill was trying to make sense of the day’s events, including those unprecedented acts of violence in Washington, D.C., as rioters broke in and stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Eric Hill said he tries to watch and learn something from each protest at the state capitol, which is just a block from his home. (KSL-TV)

“I don’t know if I love the idea that people are trying to overturn an election — I certainly don’t love that,” Hill said.

Still, he questioned if the answer to what was ailing America was simply more genuine listening and understanding of differences that have led to deep divides.

“No one seems to really recognize the fact that people are up in arms because they care,” Hill said. “No one is communicating effectively on either side. It’s just not happening and it’s kind of scary.”

Hill said he believed compassion could help overcome whatever hatred currently exists.

“We need to kill hate with compassion and it’s just something that’s not happening in America,” Hill said. “I think you know it, I know it and everybody else out there knows that.”

Hill said he has never opposed anyone’s right to demonstrate.

“For their right to protest — for every American’s right to go out and speak to whatever problem it is — I’ll be out there cleaning it up every single time,” he acknowledged.

He only hoped the nation would eventually bridge divides by greater listening, learning and understanding.

“If we’re not trying to push our society forward by learning, then we’re failing as citizens, pretty bluntly,” Hill said.

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Utahns React To Protests In Utah & US Capitol