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Armed protestors march to state capitol, no violence reported

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A march to the state Capitol on Sunday was attended by protesters from two separate, armed groups. 

Armed groups march, remain civil

Around 30 to 40 members of the Black Fist Coalition and Insurgents USA started their march at Washington Square. Those groups are in support of Black Lives Matter and don’t typically protest with guns.

Organizer John Sullivan says they were rallying against police brutality and in favor of equality.

“You’ve gotta be able to fire back if somebody’s firing at you,” Sullivan told KSL-TV. “Do you want to die? I don’t want to die.”

He says their group was exercising a second amendment right, which is something they often see other protestors do.

“I want to make sure I keep myself safe when I’m going out here protesting and also say, ‘Hey, I can also express myself the same way that you can. I can speak your language. I can carry guns as well,’” he explains.

Peace over confrontation

Meanwhile, some members of the Utah Constitutional Militia also showed up with weapons.

“I just want to simply show that we can stand in unity with each other, regardless of our views,” explains Tyson Holyoak, with the Utah Constitutional Militia. “I would rather have peace over confrontation. I don’t want to see anybody die or get hurt.”

The joint protest lasted several hours and remained peaceful from beginning to end.