SALT LAKE CITY — A few protests have been planned at the Utah State Capitol leading up to Inauguration Day (Wednesday, Jan. 20), and a member of the Proud Boys Salt Lake Utah Chapter is advising against anyone attending.
“As far as the chapter's presence here, I personally have advised against any and all presence at any of these demonstrations, and that’s what brings me here today,” said Thad, chief of the Proud Boys Salt Lake Utah Chapter. “Recommending to all patriot organizations that they recognize what happened in Washington D.C., recognizing the fact that there is full prosecution in front of any and all patriots that do disregard, you know, the law.”
Thad said he was speaking to FOX 13 on behalf of himself and not on behalf of the entire Proud Boys organization.
Members of the local Proud Boys were at previous events at the Capitol including the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6. Thad says he was in Washington D.C. and arrived after violent protests had begun. He says he never entered the U.S. Capitol building.
“The local Proud Boys chapter here again has been at the forefront of trying to peacefully bring some points across and to ensure the safety of local citizens,” Thad said about his chapter. “I do believe that this Proud Boys chapter is exceptional in the fact that they have rolled with the things that I myself have brought to the table, specifically in regards to peacefully finding common grounds with the local BLM chapter.”
According to FOX 13's content-sharing partners at The Salt Lake Tribune, several groups are planning demonstrations at the Utah State Capitol this upcoming Sunday.
The Tribune reports that a group called Utah Patriots had planned a pro-gun rally called “When Democracy is Destroyed, Stand for your Rights,” but later canceled, warning people to stay away because they say “bad actors” are planning to “incite violence and frame patriots for it.”
The Tribune reports that other groups such as Utah Citizens’ Alarm have told people that the UCA associate with they are “all steering clear of the Capitol this weekend.”
In preparation for any potential activity, the Utah Department of Public Safety has increased security at the Utah State Capitol.
UHP has also opted not to send 40 troopers to Washington D.C., to participate in an inauguration parade and instead stay here and respond to any incidents.