Protest On Utah Capitol Day Before Trump Attack’s National Monuments

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Above Photo: GO HOME TRUMP on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017.

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On Saturday, thousands of protesters angered by Trump’s expected Monday attack on two national monuments in Utah rallied in Salt Lake City,  just two days ahead of his visit.

“Go Home Trump,” was the message spelled out by 113 protesters dressed in white jumpsuits.

Artist Cat Palmer organized the protest Sunday on the south lawn of the Utah Capitol ahead of President Donald Trump’s Monday visit, in which he is expected to dramatically reduce the sizes of Bears Ears and Grand Escalante national monuments.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Melissa Bond helped read the comments made famous from the Access Hollywood tape of Trump speaking about how he approached women while speaking with Billy Bush. Earlier these protesters dressed in white jumpsuits spelled out "GO HOME TRUMP" on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017, during a protest organized by artist Cat Palmer ahead of Trump's visit Monday.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Melissa Bond helped read the comments made famous from the Access Hollywood tape of Trump speaking about how he approached women while speaking with Billy Bush. Earlier these protesters dressed in white jumpsuits spelled out “GO HOME TRUMP” on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017, during a protest organized by artist Cat Palmer ahead of Trump’s visit Monday.

“We don’t have somebody representing our voices right now, right? That’s a problem. Sometimes when we feel helpless we make art hoping our voices will be heard,” Palmer said. “It’s an outlet for people. It’s therapeutic, …. because we are feeling lost right now,” the Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters angered by Trump’s expected Monday attack on two national monuments in Utah rallied in Salt Lake City,  just two days ahead of his visit. The demonstrators denounced Trump’s expected action, many chanting and holding signs with messages such as “Protect Wild Utah.” Native American groups danced or formed drum circles.

Speakers who addressed the throngs of demonstrators included a state lawmaker and an official with the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch vowed said the president should see these monuments for himself. “I want him to visit Bears Ears before he takes any action,” Branch said.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters dressed in white jumpsuits spelled out "GO HOME TRUMP" on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017, during a protest organized by artist Cat Palmer ahead of Trump's visit Monday.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters dressed in white jumpsuits spelled out “GO HOME TRUMP” on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017, during a protest organized by artist Cat Palmer ahead of Trump’s visit Monday.

On Monday, Trump  will announce a plan to reduce the size of Bears Ears and Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by nearly two-thirds. Those monuments were designated by former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

The AP reported that Trump’s move would be the first such act by a president in half a century. Environmentalists and tribal leaders have decried the decision as illegal and an affront to Native Americans.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Artist Cat Palmer makes photos of protesters dressed in white jumpsuits who spelled out "GO HOME TRUMP" on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017, during a protest organized by artist Cat Palmer ahead of Trump's visit Monday. When asked why she organized the event she said: "Because Senator Dabakis called me and told me too! We don't have somebody representing our voices right now, right? Thats a problem. Sometimes when we feel helpless we make art hoping our voices will be heard. It's an outlet for people. It's therapeutic, .... because we are feeling lost right now."

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Artist Cat Palmer makes photos of protesters dressed in white jumpsuits who spelled out “GO HOME TRUMP” on the south lawn of the Utah State Capitol, Sunday, December 3, 2017, during a protest organized by artist Cat Palmer ahead of Trump’s visit Monday. When asked why she organized the event she said: “Because Senator Dabakis called me and told me too! We don’t have somebody representing our voices right now, right? Thats a problem. Sometimes when we feel helpless we make art hoping our voices will be heard. It’s an outlet for people. It’s therapeutic, …. because we are feeling lost right now.”

Leaked documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Trump plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half.

The plan would cut the total amount of land in the state’s red rock country protected under monument status from more than 3.2 million acres (5,000 square miles) to about 1.2 million acres (1,875 square miles). Trump has told Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and other Utah officials that he will follow the recommendation of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to shrink both monuments. Protesters will gather again Monday to greet Trump:

Bear Ears National Monument, Utah (cc/wikipedia)

Bear Ears National Monument, Utah (cc/wikipedia)

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument