Voting can be intimidating for transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit individuals. Due to ID verification requirements at the polls, gender-diverse and gender-non-conforming individuals can be misgendered and misnamed. This voting guide provides information on how to comfortably vote without facing discrimination. The guide also offers basic information on how to vote, both at physical polls and at home, for Montana citizens. The images below are the same information in slightly different formats.  If you click on the images below, you will be redirected to PDFs that will be easy to print and will have active links.

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Human Rights Groups Warn Ammon Bundy is Building an Army

 

Since its start in Idaho earlier this year with a few dozen supporters, the so-called “People’s Rights” network has spread across the country and grown to over 20,000 members. The group’s founder and national leader is Ammon Bundy, a member of the far-right family that engaged in armed standoffs with the government in Nevada and Oregon. Beyond Bundy, there hasn’t been much known about People’s Rights…Until now.

 

The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the Montana Human Rights Network are releasing Ammon’s Army: Inside the Far-Right People’s Rights Network, a report exploring the breadth and depth of Bundy’s latest creation. For the first time, the report reveals the names of its more than 150 state and local leaders, shining a light on this divisive and potentially violent organization and its national network.  


“This report shows how ‘People’s Rights’ is a misnomer of epic proportions,” says Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. “Don’t be fooled. Whatever they choose to call it, it is Ammon’s Army, and it marches to a far-right drumbeat of narcissistic rage and insurrection.”

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We know that national militia groups are talking about turning out at polling locations to intimidate voters. The likelihood of this happening increased following President Trump encouraging such behavior. This threatens the safety and security of our election process.


While most of Montana will be voting by mail, locations where votes are being counted and polling places for those who choose to use them may be targeted. Militia voter intimidation is always bad for the democratic process. We need your eyes and ears this Election season!


If at any point during the election process, you encounter militia members trying to obstruct or intimidate voters, MHRN wants to know. This type of activity is illegal under Montana Code. Please send a report to MHRN at research@mhrn.org and call/text 1-406-888-VOTE. MHRN wants to do our part to make sure our elections are safe for everyone, including voters, election judges, and those tallying results.   

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The Montana Human Rights Network has a long history of working for human rights, racial justice and responding to bigotry. The Combating White Nationalism and Defending Democracy program works to expose, diffuse and respond to racism, white nationalism and the extreme right by: producing original content research reports or briefings, stopping bad legislation, sharing best practices in messaging the issue, being pro-active and taking rapid response on these issues, making our research database accessible to supporters, creating model policies and practices for communities, and educating the public through community presentations. Montana Human Rights Network builds on MHRN’s current and previous programmatic work to continue the growth of new leaders in efforts for human rights, racial justice and combating white nationalism.

MHRN seeks an intern for 10-15 hours per week for 16 weeks (estimated 180 hours). The purpose of this educational internship is for the Intern to learn about the organization’s work and to gain valuable insight and experience. The Organization agrees to provide the intern with ample activities, learning opportunities, and skill building opportunities to the Intern.
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UPDATE: Early on the morning of September 11, organizers of the events announced that Richard Mack will not be appearing at the rally in person due to injuries sustained in an accident. Instead, organizers announced Mack was planning to record remarks that will be played at the Saturday rally.

The militia movement and other self-styled “patriot” groups have played a significant role in stoking and mobilizing anger against preventative measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. These forces are bringing events to Helena this Friday and Saturday to ratchet up attacks on public health. Using the misnomer “Patriot Days,” the events planned include:

  • Protesting in front of the Lewis and Clark County Health Department

  • Forcing their way into a football game at Vigilante Stadium

  • Holding events on the lawn of the State Capitol

  • Screening a film at Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church.

As if this wasn’t troubling enough, a Saturday rally at Memorial Park features Richard Mack, a former county sheriff in Arizona and a hero to the militia movement since the 1990s. Mack became a rising star in the militia movement when he sued the federal government over the Brady Bill, a gun control measure. He began speaking on the militia circuit in the early 1990s and never stopped.

In Arizona, Mack was elected Graham County Sheriff in 1992. His lawsuit against the Brady Bill was consolidated with a similar one by a sheriff in Montana, Ravalli County Sheriff Jay Printz, who has also been listed as a speaker for this weekend’s events. The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the sheriffs, saying it was unconstitutional for Congress to compel local law enforcement to conduct background checks on potential gun buyers. However, Mack’s lawsuit and speaking time on the “patriot” circuit became central issues during his 1996 re-election bid, and he failed to make it out of the primary. Catering to the militia crowd ended his career in law enforcement.
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Printable Image Available, Yard Signs Coming

In 2018 a group of community members in Carbon County became concerned about the flying of Confederate flags and the appearance of other symbols of hate in the area. They didn’t want to see Carbon County become, or become known as, an unwelcoming place.

 

The community members turned to the Montana Human Rights Network (MHRN), contacting the organization in 2018, and a collaboration formed. The result was the development and placement of a powerful billboard on Montana Highway 212 near Red Lodge. The billboard proclaimed, “Hate Has No Home in Carbon County” and featured crossed out images of a Confederate Flag and Nazi Swastika, common symbols used by white nationalists.

 

To ensure their safety, local supporters of the billboard chose to remain anonymous. To recognize the important work of MHRN, those local residents also asked MHRN to be listed on the billboard as a sponsoring organization, even though financial support for the billboard came from the community members in Carbon County. The billboard remained for several months and generated a great deal of discussion. While some in the community were offended by the billboard, the vast majority of the feedback from people in Carbon County was positive. Eventually, the group of community members decided the billboard had served its purpose, and it was taken down.

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We’ve noted with concern that local chapters of “People’s Rights” are popping up in communities throughout Montana. We’ve been sounding the alarm that the person behind creating People’s Rights is nonother than Ammon Bundy, a member of the insurrectionist family that orchestrated armed standoffs in both Nevada and Oregon.  

 

Some local activists have argued Bundy has nothing to do with their groups. While it is true that he likely isn’t distributing specific agenda items for their monthly meetings, these local groups fall under Bundy’s national umbrella. In this video, he discusses how he started People’s Rights and continues to fan its flames as the group spreads across the country. 


We don’t think it’s a coincidence that Bundy
 has tried to keep his name from being synonymous with People’s Rights organizing. Ammon and the rest of the Bundy Family have shown that they exploit anger at the local level and contribute to blowing up situations into armed standoffs. His family’s previous infamy has saddled Ammon Bundy with negative political baggage.  

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Recently, the Montana Human Rights Network has posted some videos to social media featuring analysis of the Far Right. We wanted to make sure you didn’t miss them. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss these types of videos in the future!

MHRN Facebook:  “People’s Rights” Seeks to Create Uber-Like Militias
Posted August 12, 2020

Last week we shared a two-part series of articles by the Havre Daily News about a local chapter of Ammon Bundy’s “People’s Rights” group. This video clip features the Montana coordinator for People’s Rights, Nick Ramlow, talking about how the group wants to create an “Uber-like” militia response system that can be mobilized at any time.

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Event Seeks to Stoke Anger at Pandemic Prevention

 

The upcoming “Rage Against the State” events feature a combination of Bundy Family supporters, candidates running on the Montana Libertarian Party ticket, and fundamentalist Christians. Described as a “three-day tent revival,” this anti-democratic roadshow will be staged in Livingston, Belgrade, and Whitehall on consecutive days between July 3-5, 2020. Promotional materials allude to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the events are organized by people who are “united in our rage” at the “men who would rule us rather than serves us.” While organizers mention taxes and the size of government as issues they care about, the Montana Human Rights Network believes the point of the “Rage” events is creating and harnessing anger over the public health measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, while also targeting the officials making those decisions. The “Rage” speakers (see profiles below) are a tight-knit group with pre-existing relationships.

 

Four of the “Rage” speakers have direct connections to the notorious Bundy Family which garnered national news by engaging in armed standoffs with the federal government in both Nevada and Oregon. The family has become a favorite of the anti-government “patriot” movement and has supporters in Montana. As the Bundys look for their next opportunity to orchestrate a standoff, family members have spoken or appeared in Montana a handful of times in recent years.

 

Three “Rage” speakers are current Libertarian candidates for office. While some Libertarians embrace social issues close to the political Left, the Montana Libertarian Party has historically attracted “patriot” activists and others who think the Montana Republican Party isn’t conservative enough when it comes to issues like guns, taxes, and government regulations. The three “Rage” speakers running for office exemplify these Far Right, anti-democratic views.

 

The “Rage” events help illustrate how militias and other “patriot” groups seek to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic. When states implemented shelter-in-place orders earlier this year to slow the spread of the virus, militia activists used it as a recruiting opportunity. COVID-19 led to fear in communities, which made people susceptible to misinformation spread by militia groups. As shelter-in-place and other public health orders continued, some folks grew angry at the government for having to stay home, keep a business closed, or other prevention measures. This anger and fear eventually manifested itself as the lockdown rallies held in Montana and across the country. Militias didn’t always organize the rallies, but they strategically showed up at them. The rallies were perfect recruitment opportunities, as they featured crowds of scared and angry conservatives protesting the government. “Rage Against the State” is trying to both create and tap into that type of anti-democratic fervor.

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Rallies are excellent ways to speak up for important issues, but what happens when the rallies are over? 

 

Love Lives Here knows that the work of dismantling discrimination never ends. It organized an online event designed to help people understand the ongoing, essential work that’s necessary to dismantle white supremacy and systemic racism in our communities and ourselves.

 

This edited recording of the webinar includes:

  • A time to hear the names of the people who have been killed recently by police and racial violence.

  • Thoughts from Indigenous community members. 

  • Action items to support local Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people and organizations.  


For this video that’s available to the public, we decided to not include the portion of the webinar containing a presentation by Tobin Miller Shearer. We made this decision due to the harassment Shearer has faced from white nationalists.

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