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SHAME ON YOU STEVE DAINES – Montanans Fight Back Against Kavanaugh

Activist, veteran and resident of Great Falls, Shannon Wilson has been standing vigil outside of Senator Steve Daines office for most of this week. 6 hours a day, snow or sun. Her outfit is inspired by the Margaret Atwood novel and TV show, The Handmaid’s Tale, about a dystopian future where women are slaves to the whims of rich men. It’s about 10-20 years away if Kavanaugh is confirmed.

It started last week as Montanans pushed back in any way they knew how. The national walkout last Tuesday September 24th marked one of the first major pushback events against Brett Kavanaugh and his drinking and sexual violence problems. The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, along with the Montana Human Rights Network and Montana Women Vote walked out!

On Friday, September 28th, Big Sky 55+ organized statewide protests at Senator Daines office to strongly demand that Senator Daines oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation and retract his disgusting remarks calling the victims remarks a “smear campaign.” Forward Montana was integral in these event’s success.

More than 100 Montanans protested at Senator Daines office all across Montana in Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, Great Falls, Helena and Kalispell to urge him to vote against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The spur of the moment protests were organized by Big Sky 55+ and the energy was palpable.

Holly Michels reported in the Helena IR:

Montana Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, D-Helena, was among those at the event, where protesters chanted “hell no, Kavanaugh must go.” Daines, a Republican, has said he supports Kavanaugh’s appointment and referred to the the sexual misconduct allegations against the judge as a “smear campaign.” The protest was organized by Big Sky 55+, which also hosted similar demostrations outside Daines office in Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula.

On Friday afternoon in Helena, after Tester announced he’d oppose Kavanaugh, a group of 40 people — mostly women — gathered to protest outside the office of Montana’s junior Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican who said he’ll vote for Kavanaugh. Shouting “hell no, Kavanaugh must go,” the loud rally showed women were already cementing political energy around Tester’s opposition.

Barbara Allen of Helena is a survivor of rape and has two adult daughters. Sexual assault is a huge issue that needs to be talked about more, not less, Allen said.

If Tester hadn’t opposed Kavanaugh, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to support him in November.

“It would have been really hard. I won’t vote for the other option, but it would have been very difficult,” Allen said.

Kasandra Reddington, also of Helena, said she also hadn’t been totally decided on how she’d vote in November, but Tester’s opposition to Kavanaugh pushed her toward voting for the Democrat.

“That definitely helped. I think it’s important to believe survivors,” Reddington said.

Protect Our Care Montana showed to deliver 275 signatures to Senator Daines urging him to vote “No” and to defend his smear campaign comments dismissing Dr. Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations.

From the Missoulian:

about two dozen Missoulians briefly gathered outside the local office of Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines to voice their opposition.

The protest was one of several organized by Big Sky 55+ at Daines’ Montana offices, and part of a national surge in opposition to Kavanaugh. The Missoula participants found a locked door and no staff, and Daines had already staked out his position on the matter.

Video of a speaker in Missoula

A video of a speaker thanking Senator Tester while delivering 275 signatures to Senator Daines urging him to vote “NO” and to defend his smear campaign comments dismissing Dr. Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations.

Billings, MT: Barbara Archer, Retired UCC Pastor, Tracy Hileman and Mike Mulberry, Pastors, 1st Congregational Church and 6 survivors told their story to Senator Daines Staff.

Bozeman, MT: Haley Cox, MSU student, Victims Advocate at the Voice Center, Survivors Fund Board and a Truman Scholar and Protect Our Care, committee member, Katie Mazurek and they delivered their statements to Senator Daines staff along with dozens of activists.

In in the cities below, Senator Daines office was closed. Mostly only keeps office hours by appointment. The offices we locked and dark.

Great Falls, MT: Legislative candidates Laura Dever and Lynelle Melton along with a dozen local activists.

Missoula, MT: Maggie Bornstein, UM student, Forward Montana Campus Ambassador was joined by two dozen Missoulians.

Kalispell, MT: Paige Rappleye, local activist and a past candidate for legislature documented that Daines office was locked and had a perfect sign.

This week the actions continued as the citizens of Missoula started doing banner drops on the Orange Street bridge underpass. They have done 3 or 4 already and I am sure more are to come. I believe Missoula Rises is involved in this.

Helena state representative Moffie Funk traveled all the way to the United States Supreme Court to protest Kavanaugh!

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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Nathan Kosted

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