MTPR

Love Lives Here

The line for the Flathead County Republicans' fundraiser Saturday night stretched down Electric Avenue in Bigfork
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

Flathead County Republicans hosted a controversial speaker at a fundraiser in Bigfork this weekend, and barred all but one news outlet from covering the event.

Dinesh D’Souza is a right-wing political commentator, currently on a speaking tour promoting his new book, “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.”

Martin Luther King Jr.
(PD)

On Saturday musicians in the Flathead Valley performed original songs about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life at the eleventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration hosted by Love Lives Here, an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network.

Whitefish resident David Walburn wrote two of the songs. Walburn grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. He remembers listening to Martin Luther King, Jr., on the radio while studying music in college. I spoke with him a few days before the celebration about what inspired his work.

Whitefish's community vigil for victims of the Charlottesville, VA, protests drew a large crowd for speeches, prayers and singing.
Nicky Ouellet

There have been many silent moments in Montana this week.

One in Whitefish Tuesday night was held in honor of people who died and were injured while counter-protesting a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday.

One of the paper menorahs Love Lives Here is distributing in Whitefish this Hanukkah
Nicky Ouellet

A few days before the start of Hanukkah, a small group gathered on a street corner in downtown Whitefish, holding stacks of paper menorahs. Joan Vetter Ehrenberg, a volunteer for Love Lives Here, a branch of the Montana Human Rights Network, reads an explanation from the back of the menorah:

"Obviously in response to the anti-semitic targeting of our local friends and neighbors in Whitefish, Love Lives Here invites everyone in the valley to hang a menorah in the window ..."

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election last Tuesday, there are numerous reports on the internet of an uptick in election-fueled harassment and intimidation. But's not just the internet, nor just outside of Montana.

Human rights organizations, local police departments and schools here are reporting, or checking out reports, that include pamphlet drops touting Nazi Party ideology, anonymous graffiti bashing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and Facebook posts loaded with vitriol and name-calling.

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