A group in Whitefish is hosting a so-called "Love Not Hate" rally Saturday, January 7. Organizers are calling the event a stand against oppression.
Jessica Laferriere and Dominica Cleveras got the idea to organize a block party after national news outlets zeroed in on recent anti-Semitic harassment of several local residents and businesses:
"We felt like we needed to respond. I felt like we needed to defend the community and boost morale," Clevaras says.
The event will showcase several speakers from Whitefish city government and faith groups, along with local artists, musicians and storytellers.
Several people and businesses in Whitefish have become the target of anti-Semitic online harassment, spurred on by a neo-Nazi website that claims it’s defending the parents of emerging white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.
The City of Whitefish issued a proclamation announcing its support of a diverse and unified community last month. Since then, Montana’s top elected officials, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, several faith groups and the City of Great Falls have issued statements denouncing bigotry and intolerance.
The "Love Not Hate" event is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, January 7 in Depot Park in Whitefish.