Utahns Witness DC Protests, March To US Capitol
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Several Utahns were at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as demonstrators stormed the building. Two of those protesters told KSL they were there to protest the election results, but they were not expecting the chaos and violence.
“It was just an amazing turnout, just some awesome patriots, everybody is super excited,” said a protester, who asked KSL-TV to call her “Charlie” to protect her identity.
“When I first got there it looked like a few hundred thousand. As time progressed then it escalated into, just remember looking around the crowd and thinking it looked like a million people, just so many people,” she said.
Darin Southam was also there. “I come from Utah, there were people from all over the country — some people drove,” he said.
They both said the crowd peacefully marched towards the Capitol. Charlie said she was marching from the Washington Monument.
“There were at least three full streets of marchers, jampacked and it was completely peaceful. People were chanting ‘USA,’ they were waving American flags,” Southam said.
He said the mood suddenly soured on the Capitol steps. “When I got there, there was already a crowd on the grass and they were just starting to storm the Capitol, but I wasn’t on the frontlines.”
Chaos and confusion followed as a crowd breached the Capitol doors.
Rita Arballo said not everyone who entered the Capitol was aligned with the protesters.
Southam questioned the true motives and identities of the rioters. He said the majority of protesters were not violent.
Charlie said word spread that something was wrong but they didn’t know what it was until they got closer to the Capitol.
“We saw that the D.C. police were throwing tear gas bombs into the crowd. And they were throwing those off, it looked like they were coming from the roof of the Capitol Building right into the crowd. We were assembled below the steps to the round building and they were teargassing people, that’s when I knew something was going on. We also saw flares in the sky, we didn’t know what that meant,” she described.
It was a day none of them will forget.
“It was definitely disappointing [devastating] because as you know four people lost their lives,” Charlie said. We were in the back of the Capitol when we heard some pops go off inside the building and someone said that a girl had been shot by D.C. police.”
“I’m not a ‘bad hombre.’ I’m an American citizen,” Arballo said. “I work for small businesses, and we want our kids to have those same freedoms we were able to have.”
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