Protesters In Helena 'Take A Stand' Against Muslim Refugees
Today a group opposed to Muslim refugees entering the country staged a rally on the Capitol steps in Helena. A series of speakers at today’s event warned against the security threat they think refugees pose to the United States.
Laurie Jensen from Whitehall was one of about 100 people at rally standing among waving American flags and signs protesting refugees.
“There comes a point when you have to take a stand. I’m sure there are a lot of good Muslims and that is great, I got no problem with them. But if we don’t vet them, and we’re not going to keep track of them once they’re here, that’s just a recipe for disaster.”
Today’s protest was organized under the banner “American Security Rally of Montana." Three weeks ago the group held a similar rally in Missoula. About a dozen counter-demonstrators attended the event at the Capitol.
Rachel Carroll Rivas is the co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network. Rivas said her organization is planning to have counter-rallies across the state starting March 1. She said the rallies like the one held today don’t reflect a majority of Montanans' views about refugees.
“I think again, the majority of people in our state are not making their decisions purely based on fear, especially misplaced fear.”
Rally organizers said they invited Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox to attend and speak at the rally, but they did not attend.
Their offices told Montana Public Radio that Bullock and Fox did not attend because of scheduling conflicts.