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Right now, ten people are facing felony charges from an action that took place in Salt Lake City this past July against the proposed Inland Port. Many more have been charged with misdemeanors from that action and others while the Port Authority Board evades the public process and continues to push this polluting project towards fruition.
Back in the summer, groups opposed to the Inlet Port organized the action and adjacent rally to raise awareness of the devastating public health impacts of the proposed inland port, and its inherent environmental racism and classism, particularly to the communities surrounding the 16,000 acres set aside for the project. These neighborhoods include Rose Park, West Valley City, and Poplar Grove–communities of predominantly poor and low-income Latinx, white, and other people of color who already experience disproportionate pollution, policing, and other forms of disenfranchisement.
As Adair Kovac, one of the protesters and a member of civil resistance group Civil Riot said at the time: “Nonviolent direct action can shine a light on the grave injustice being done by the powerful elite with this destructive development, through the harm it will cause to the surrounding communities, wildlife habitats, and the planet. The violent response from the police yet again proves that law enforcement serves and protects the wealthy and their property and interests, not the majority of people.”
From the press release of the action: “Grounded in a tradition of Indigenous resistance and Civil Rights movements, the action was an escalation of attempts made by impacted community members to reach Derek Miller, chairman of the Utah Inland Port Authority board, and other wealthy, politically connected stakeholders who support the port. Participants in the action have also testified at public hearings, submitted written comments, and supported the civil suit filed against the port by Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.”
Now those in resistance to Salt Lake City’s Inlet Port are in danger of jail, big fines or other ramifications from the actions.