By BRITTANY WALLACE/Montana State News
Citizens crowded the Missoula courthouse sidewalk on Monday in what has been dubbed the American Security Rally, a response to a proposal to bring a refugee resettlement office to Missoula. The event was sponsored by the Montana chapter of Act for America, a citizen organization that is, “dedicated to national security and defeating terrorism,” according to the group’s website.
Over 100 people attended the rally according to the Missoulian, with citizens from all over the state and Idaho coming to show their support, armed with picket signs and strong opinions.
The rally went on for several hours, with people on both sides of the issue attempting to make their voices heard. Act for America and its supporters claimed fears of terrorism, crime, and a strain on the taxpayers if refugees are allowed to enter the country, according to the group’s website.
While the rally remained peaceful, there was anger on both sides as arguments were made, each claiming an attempt to help people, with immigration supporters wanting to help refugees, and the opposition wanting to protect local citizens from a perceived threat. It was held in response Soft Landing Missoula’s recent campaign to bring a refugee resettlement office to the town. Missoula had such an office from 1979 to 2008. Montana is currently one of only two states in the nation without one, according to the Missoula Independent.
Soft Landing Missoula
– Edited By Anson Nyg