Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY — A downtown resident chained himself to a structure to protest the placement of a new 5G tower going up in his neighborhood. He believes people living in the area weren’t given enough of an opportunity to voice their concerns. However, not all of his neighbors have his back.
To be clear, David Schutt is not claiming 5G towers spread COVID-19. He said he has never believed that particular theory. Still, he doesn’t believe these towers are necessarily safe to be around.
Schutt said, “These 5G towers, they’re emitting the same frequencies as a microwave. We all know we don’t want to stand in front of our microwave for a long amount of time.”
Schutt chained his wrist to the base of where this new tower was supposed to be erected on 10 E. and 300 S., Salt Lake City. While there, he was surrounded by supporters who agree the tower shouldn’t go there.
Eventually, Schutt cut himself free after police told him they could have removed him by force. Crews were able to place the tower and fill the hole at the base, but Schutt was there all the while, reportedly shouting at them through his megaphone.
While Schutt doesn’t believe the 5G tower would spread coronavirus, he is concerned about the amount of electricity being used to power it, and whether or not the technology is being used by foreign actors in bad ways.
“These are concerns that should be addressed, at some point,” Schutt said. “It's something that not only affects our city aesthetic, but it affects our health. Neighbors have a right to their right of way and the quiet enjoyment of streets.”
His main concern is that of public oversight. He claims that Salt Lake City officials held meetings about this 5G tower during the COVID-19 shutdown, and many people weren’t allowed to push back against it.
He said, “They approved the permit for this particular corner, I believe it was six days ago, they said.”
Some of his neighbors don’t see it that way. They told KSL the plans for new towers had been in the works for months. Some residents said they don’t necessarily want the tower there, either, but they believe it has to go somewhere.
One resident said, “The fact is, it went through the proper channels to be put in. Unfortunately, these guys should have those channels to stop it. This [protest] isn’t going to work.”
Another said, “He should have attended a community council meeting when we talked about it three and four and five months ago.”