The leader of Black Lives Matter Utah is disavowing the “racial justice” activist who was arrested for participating in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Sullivan has repeatedly posted online about Black Lives Matter, expressing support for the movement. He founded a group called Insurgence USA, whose website says its founding was spurred by the death of George Floyd, a rallying point for Black Lives Matter, and advocates against police brutality, another point in alignment with the so-called racial justice movement. Sullivan is “one of the few black men organizing for racial justice in Utah,” his personal website says.
Scott sought to distance Black Lives Matter from Sullivan. She said he never joined the Utah chapter, attended a meeting, or helped with its mission.
“He seems like he’s kind of a loose cannon. So we’ve just been distancing ourselves from him—but he’s like this thorn in my side that won’t go away,” she said. “John is a new activist. He got here in June, because a lot of bandwagon trendy people came in.”
Local chapters are run separately from the national movement. Scott said the Utah chapter makes members sign contracts promising not to incite violence or destroy property.
Antifa activists also have attempted to distance themselves from Sullivan, calling him a “likely infiltrator.”
Sullivan on Jan. 6 also urged U.S. Capitol Police officers to leave their posts, telling them they would be hurt if they didn’t. He was near Ashley Babbitt (also spelt Ashli), a pro-Trump Air Force veteran, when she was shot dead while trying to climb into the Speaker’s Lobby.