020216-mis-nws-anti-refugee-03

Jim Buterbaugh, who organized the rally, speaks to the crowd in front of the Missoula County Courthouse on Monday. Many of the speakers at the event cited national security as a reason to not allow Syrian refugees to be resettled in Montana.

An anti-refugee rally is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday on the steps of the Montana State Capitol.

“The purpose is to request restraint in the admission of Arabian refugees to the United States and to ask for alternatives that are kind to all,” John "Jack" Wiegman, who participated in a similar event held Feb. 1 in Missoula, wrote in an email. “These are people with some experience in service in the Middle East. Some of them contribute to charities that also help refugees. Such contributions go far beyond what the rest of us give in taxes and in government jobs.”

The “American Security Rally of Montana – Helena” event page on Facebook encourages attendees to prepare speeches and “Bring signs about your Security concerns to the health and survival of the United States.”

The group plans to take those concerns to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s office and possibly the offices of U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, the page says.

As of Friday afternoon, 51 people had confirmed they would attend. 

More than 100 people from across Montana and Idaho participated in the event held earlier this month in front of the Missoula County Courthouse. The Montana Human Rights Network responded with a statement accusing resettlement opponents of “capitalizing on broader national fearmongering.”

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