WASHINGTON D.C.—On Thursday January 7, 2021, Utah native and BLM activist John Earle Sullivan, was detained in Washington on K and 14th by the Hamilton hotel. During July 2020, he was charged over a BLM-antifa riot where drivers in Provo, Utah were threatened and one was shot.
Antifa is a political party that opposes fascism, a form of government often associated with dictatorship and oppression, and extreme right-wing ideology, which emphasizes tradition and authority.
Sullivan, 25, is the founder of the civil rights group Insurgence USA, which started in 2020 in response to the shooting death of Gorge Floyd. The principal ideology is about “the unification of our nation because a people united will never be divided.” He does not agree with the political ideology associated with both President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. Sullivan has been in D.C. this week for several planned protests, including the Capitol rally that transpired Wednesday, January 6.
In a Twitter posted video by Insurgence USA, he explained that he was not there to incite violence but rather “to document the events and to be in history… [he] flew out here to be able to record the situation,” a passion of his in order to let people see the truth. Sullivan also wanted to support the African American community in “the best way [he] can.”
He has posted footage of his demonstrations such as a Youtube video released on August 28, 2020 in D.C. in which he encouraged a small crowd to attack the White House. He said, “We f****ing about to burn this s*** down… We got to defend ourselves because power to the people… We got to f****ing rip Trump out of that office right there, f****ing pull him out [of] that s***… Nah, nah. We ain’t about… waiting until the next election we [are] about to get that mother f***er.”
In the Twitter video, which addressed the storming of the U.S. capitol, he responded that he “has emotions too and those moments are crazy… [He] just [wanted] to show people how it was, and [he] knew that [he] could be able to get to the truth and the front and to be able to show [viewers].”
In a Youtube video, it can be heard as Sullivan was being detained, that he said, “I just want to know why I am being detained, that’s all. I did nothing wrong. I was just standing there talking.” Sullivan claims to have been there to document the chaos and discord in the Capitol building. He was also allegedly standing next to Ashley Babbitt, who was shot in the neck during the riot.
In his Instagram videos, he broadcasted that he wanted to show the difference and the perspective of the police line vs. the protest line. He wanted to let viewers “see the video for what it is and enjoy it.”