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'Utah Citizens' Alarm' removed from Facebook following new group guidelines

Posted at 8:19 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 00:01:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY — "Utah Citizen's Alarm," a Facebook group with nearly 20,000 members was removed from the social media platform after Facebook announced a new policy for organizations on their website.

The group was created seven weeks ago and has been to numerous "Black Lives Matter" events following the Provo protest that turned violent.

UCA is known as an armed group that shows up at anti-police protests. The group's founder, Casey Robertson says their mission has been to try and maintain the peace.

"Right off the bat we were labeled as a white or racist organization without anyone talking to me or asking. And we’ve been fighting that the whole time, that image," Robertson said.

In a blog post, Facebook administrators wrote they were "taking action against Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts tied to offline anarchist groups that support violent acts amidst protests, U.S. based militia organizations and QAnon."

Since the announcement, Facebook has shutdown more than 1,000 groups from their platform and more than 10,000 accounts from Instagram.

Members of the group feel that their voice has been taken away since the page was shut down.

"Talk about oppression. That’s pretty oppressing!" said member Fifi Muti Hosea-Latteier, "We don’t get to say what we want to say."

Lex Scott, founder of "Black Lives Matter" in Utah says having UCA show up at armed protests incites violence.

"I saw a girl crying at the last protest. She was afraid. Just them being there was unneeded," Scott said.

David Reymann, an attorney who has practiced law focusing on media and first ammendment rights for the past 21-years, says that although this may seem unfair to some, it's totally constitutional.

"Fundamentally, these forums are private sites, they would be considered private property," Reymann explained. "So the analogy would be, someone invites you into their house and asks you to not talk about politics, they can kick you out,"

So far, 790 pages tied to QAnon and 980 groups identifying with Antifa have been removed.

Robertson believes that even though their Facebook group is gone, it doesn't mean they are halting their movement. In fact, the group still has plans to move forward with their protest this weekend.

"Just because Facebook kicked us off does not mean we are leaving. We are solid and strong," he said.