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Governor calls for civility after violent Inland Port protest

(Photo: Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – A call for civility from Governor Gary Herbert after a violent protest over the Inland Port leads to injuries and eight people being arrested in Salt Lake City.

People inside the Salt Lake Chamber building say there was more than just yelling and pushing.  Derek Miller, who serves on the Port board, says people in masks started breaking the lobby security cameras.

“They then began to run around the offices, including urinating in some of the offices,” Miller says.

He adds that the people working inside the building have nothing to do with the Inland Port.  He then asked anyone who would listen how they would feel if they saw that kind of things happening in their privately run place of business.

Miller says, “That’s how the employees of the Salt Lake Chamber were feeling… under attack by a violent mob.”

Governor Gary Herbert says the protesters had a “plethora” of issues they wanted addressed, and not just the Inland Port.  He acknowledges not all of them were engaging in violent behavior, but he believes those that were made a bigger fracture between both sides of the issue.

“Certainly, by those who were leading with the loudest and most strident voices out there who proclaim to be anarchists and creating terror on private citizens in private buildings,” Herbert says.

He also says he understands that the protesters are passionate about issues like the port, immigration and climate change.

“Passion does not excuse you being violent and breaking the law,” he says.

Both Gov. Herbert and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown say they’ve never seen a protest become that violent before.