Paramilitaries are not the answer to police violence and create risk of violence at protests 

The Montana Human Rights Network is seriously concerned about the increased risk for violence by armed paramilitary militia activists who are showing up at otherwise peaceful protests in Montana and other rural communities, especially across the West.  
The nation, including Montana, is having a serious and challenging conversation about institutional racism, but paramilitaries are not the answer to police violence because they are not accountable to elected officials and community members. 

The Montana Human Rights Network has documented threats, intimidation and harassment by militia activists at racial justice protests around the state. Paramilitary militia activists are manipulating and controlling people’s right to assembly and speak using the threat of violence with firearms. These paramilitary militia activists were not asked by law enforcement or racial justice protesters to provide an armed presence. 

These militia mobs are using these events as training and recruitment opportunities. In the situations they are creating the threat of violence is real. If one person gets offended and they have their finger on the trigger – or a car backfires nearby — dangerous situation could erupt quickly.  

Inclusive democracy doesn’t happen at the barrel of a gun. Our local and state leaders need to publicly rejecting the presence of armed paramilitaries at peaceful anti-racist protests held in their communities.” said, Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director at the Network. 

The Network has been monitoring hate activity in the state for over two decades. Tracking of hate activity is part of the Network’s efforts to better understand what is happening on the ground in Montana and offer a response and alternative that focuses on our common humanity and human rights. 

The public can report militia activity and other
discriminatory activity at and a quick button is located at the top of the homepage at 


Dear MHRN Friends,
We appeal to you today as a dedicated supporter of human rights, who no doubt, like us, are appalled at the recent murder of George Floyd in the wake of a history of anti-black violence. This has come on the heels of the recent disproportionate economic and health impacts on black and brown communities due to the COVID pandemic.
The many faces that have made up our logo for 30 years is representative of the Montana we seek, one that is beautiful and thriving in its diversity and equity. Black Lives Matter.
For those of you who have been unfairly subjected to the devastating impacts of racism, we are holding you up in each and every action we take.
For those of you who have known the pain of discrimination in other forms, maybe as women or members of the LGBTQ community, we are asking you to conjure the empathy that comes with having been told you are less than.
For those of you who carry the historical trauma as Jewish people and others who have been, and continue to be, subjected to the ugliness of bigotry, we are asking you to act from that place of understanding.
And for those of you who are privileged to only know of these plagues on our communities through books, videos, and the stories of friends and family, we ask you to act and follow the lead of black, brown, indigenous and other people of color. Each of you will play a different role, but let the commitment to those at the center of this struggle permeate every part of your life.
Let us not be paralyzed in our effort to be perfect, but let us commit to lean into our values of justice, equity and inclusive democracy.
Black Lives Matter.
In Solidarity,
Rachel Carroll Rivas
Co-Director, MHRN
PS: We ask that you consider supporting our friends at the Montana Racial Equity Project at and Indian People’s Action

For Immediate Release

‘Lights for Liberty’ Candlelight Vigil Will Shine Light on Inhumane Detention Camps

Contact: for statewide information and to be routed to a local contact


In candlelight vigils on Friday, July 12, Montanans in seven cities across the state will protest cruel and inhumane U.S. detention and separation of families fleeing violence in Central America and elsewhere.

“Separating children from their parents or guardians at the US/Mexico border is a moral outrage,” said Laura Folkwein, Associate Pastor at University Congregational Church, Missoula, and acting chair of Montanans for Immigrant Justice (MIJ). “The traumatic consequences for these children will be long lasting. We refuse to accept that caging and abusing children is a solution to any problem in our country or on our southern border. We also gather to demonstrate to our immigrant friends and neighbors, especially families already separated or fearful of separation, that we will not allow immigrant family separation to continue.”

“The calls just keep coming in to our office. Folks are horrified, sad and angry all at once” said Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network, which is helping to coordinate events around the state. “We can’t just sit at home, trying not to look at the image of another child drowned from struggling to reach safety. Montana matters, our senators control the purse strings keeping these children in detention camps. Family to family, we encourage others to gather, write and call our senators now,”

The vigil is part of a national event on the same day called “Lights for Liberty,” a mass mobilization across the country bringing thousands of Americans to detention camps, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees. Five main events will be held in El Paso, San Diego, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami.

“Our current government policies for the treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers are inhumane and often illegal,” said Helena Lovick, co-organizer for the Great Falls Community Action Team. “We are gathering to shine a light on these human rights abuses, protest the continued family separations, and call for both transparency and accountability about conditions at the border camps. Family separation is shockingly cruel and we refuse to accept that caging and abusing people is the solution. We demand our members of Congress and government stand up for what is right and fix this now.”


Missoula’s hour-long Lights for Liberty Vigil begins at 7:30 p.m. outside St. Paul Lutheran Church, 202 Brooks St. Event organizers include Montanans for Immigrant Justice, Missoula Rises, Soft Landing Missoula, Montana Human Rights Network, and Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. For more information, please contact Erin Erickson at

Helena’s Vigil to End Human Detention Camps begins at 7 p.m. in Constitution Park (6th and Last Chance Gulch) in downtown Helena and will feature songs, immigrant stories and voices of solidarity from the Indigenous and Jewish community. The event is organized by the Montana Human Rights Network. For more information, please contact Rachel Carroll Rivas at

Bozeman’s Lights for Liberty Vigil begins at 7 p.m. at the Gallatin County Courthouse, 205 E Main St. Event organizers include PFLAG Bozeman and the Montana Human Rights Network. For more  information, please contact Michelle Grabbe at

Billings’ Lights for Liberty Vigil begins at 7 p.m. at Billings First Church, 310 N 27th St. Event organizers include Billings First Church and Billings Sanctuary Rising and the Montana Human Rights Network For more information, please contact Rev. Mike Mullberry at

In Great Falls, the Lights for Liberty Rally will be the following day, Saturday July 13 at 11:30 a.m. at Great Falls Civic Center, 2 S Park Dr. Event organizers include Great Falls Community Action Team and the Montana Human Rights Network. For more information, please contact Helena Lovick, Great Falls Community Action Team at

In Kalispell, Close the Camps event will be held at the Museum at Central School at 124 2nd Ave from 5:30-7:00 pm on July 12th. At the event there will be a collection for personal care items for migrant workers in the area. For more information, please contact Cherilyn DeVries at


In Thompson Falls, the Light for Liberty event will be held at the Sanders County Courthouse at 1111 W Main in Thompson Falls, Mt. on July 12th at 7:00 pm.

All human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity. These fundamental rights are not negotiable


We’re hiring! We’re excited to expand our team and increase our capacity in Great Falls and Bozeman in order to advance LGBTQ equality in Montana! View a job description and information about how to apply. Application materials will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Montana Equality Project Stewardship and Development Coordinators

Location: Great Falls or Bozeman

2 Contracted Part-Time Positions

The Montana Human Rights Network is expanding on our current Montana Equality Project to increase awareness and support for LGBTQ equality. This effort includes strengthening our reach in strategic geographic areas through educational organizing and development.

These positions will be responsible for organizing LGBTQ events, building  relationships with employers in the private, non-profit, and public sectors, and engaging in development work. For full job description please email


  1. Advanced Microsoft Office skills
  2. Strong project management and problem-solving skills
  3. Exceptional interpersonal skills
  4. Ability to do remote work and be self-driven
  5. Experience in fundraising and/or events coordination
  6. Strong community relationships
  7. Familiarity with LGBTQ issues

To apply email a cover letter, resume, and other materials to be included in consideration for this contract position to

The Montana Human Rights Network is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability. LGBTQ people, particularly transgender and non-binary people; people of color; and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Anglin Seeking Private Info About Members and Strategy

Update: Shortly after this was posted, Andrew Anglin failed to show for a deposition, which effectively ended his defense in the case. You can read more about these developments in this article. The Montana Human Rights Network will no longer have to fight the requests made in Anglin’s subpoena.

The Neo-Nazi white nationalist who mobilized an online troll storm that terrorized Whitefish’s Jewish community in 2016 is facing litigation due to the terror it caused to a Jewish realtor and her family. Andrew Anglin is using the litigation process in that lawsuit to try and make the Montana Human Rights Network turn over private information about both its supporters and interactions with other organizations.

“Although our organization is not even a party to the lawsuit, Andrew Anglin is using it as a fishing expedition to try to make us hand over sensitive material not related to the case,” said Rachel Carroll Rivas, Co-Director for the Montana Human Rights Network. “Anglin has targeted us in the past, and the information he is trying to obtain could be used to harass and threaten people based on their association with the Human Rights Network. We’re continuing to fight this overreaching and overzealous request.”

Born and raised in Ohio, Andrew Anglin glorifies Hitler, once saying he routinely asks himself, “What would Hitler do?” He’s encouraged his followers to prepare for a coming race war and circulated social media memes with slogans like “Gas the Kikes, race war now.” In fact, his writings have urged his followers to prepare for war with a long list of people he views as enemies – Jews, people of color, Muslims, women, liberals, journalists, and basically anyone who disagrees with him. 

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