Stephanie Davis fresh from A Prairie Home Companion
Part of the Basin contingent
From the Helena Independent Record:
An estimated 600 people from throughout Montana rallied at the state Capitol at noon Monday to show their anger with legislative proposals that they believe would harm the environment.It was a fun day. From the floor during this President's Day event, a legislator noted that the gallery was filled every day in a bygone era and that only the radicalism of this session brought voters to their own Capitol this year.
Denise Juneau, superintendent of public instruction, fired up the crowd when she motioned to the statehouse and said that legislators inside were "introducing unconstitutional laws that make the state I love the laughing stock of the country. They're making public employees punching bags. They're inside, slashing and burning MEPA (the Montana Environmental Policy Act). They're saying climate change is a good thing. They're gutting the Endangered Species Act. They're attempting to change the constitutional mandate for a clean and healthful environment," Juneau said.
The rally was brought together from a wide range of environmental and wildlife organizations, according to Ed Gulick with the Northern Plains Resource Council. The impetus for the gathering came from the feeling that the fundamental beliefs many Montanans hold dear are being trampled during this session, and they want the legislators to know people are upset. After the rally they filled the Senate gallery in a show of support for environmental protections.