Black Lives Matter protest continued from p 1
When asked if the Libby Police department has had any problems regarding excessive use of force complaints, chief of police, Scott Kessel was able to give an easy no. “We don’t follow the good ol’ boy system,” he explained. “We’re small enough where someone doesn’t sneak into the system,” discussing people who might abuse the badge. He continued to stress how the department looks for quality people who are willing to work hard to gain the respect of the community, a benchmark seemingly reached through interviews with people on both sides of the street on Thursday.
On the eastside of California Ave, a contrasting narrative was given in response to the BLM support. Perhaps not as brazen as the Trump flags or as eye-catching as the wide selection of weapons slung over shoulders and holstered on hips was a common thread of condemnation and disgust for officer Chauvin and the other three charged officers for their abuse of power. “The right wing,” said one member of the Continentals militia in discussing accountability, “has been talking about this type of stuff for a long time, the corruption of cops, corruption of government…” For many others, they wanted to stress a universal common humanity with “We all bleed red” or an affirmation of constitutional rights. “We love these people, we’re proud of them for standing up with their first amendment rights.” said a member of the Three Percenters militia, “Even if some people are holding signs we don’t like, we don’t care.” Both militias had a presence of several members from both the county and local chapters in support of the constitutional right to protest.
There was a fair share of other highlights that, unfortunately, cannot be explored further: the man wearing the American Flag suit he proudly bought on sale, the Montanan constantly waving a Confederate battle flag used against The Union, the Walking-Dead enthusiast who brought a club wrapped in barbed wire because they did not want to shoot anybody, the Republican history student who brought the Nazi resistance Antifaschistische Aktion Party flag, and the prayer group that walked around singing songs and doing its best to lift spirits and tension.
When reading the comments on the Facebook announcement page regarding this event, an observer might have concluded that any protest in Libby would have been violent with perhaps even a few fatalities. Many cursed and threatened under the thin veil of virtual space those that would dare try to exercise their first amendment rights. While there were defenders, some protestors felt a level of stressful unease about speaking out in public their opinion in their own hometown. But once together, it seemed that instead of fighting, many were far more interested in having conversations than violence. It seems that at times like this, when bitterness and righteousness can deafen us and divide us, if we are to begin healing the hurt parts of this country, we must first, and without anticipation for retort, listen.
By Tyler Whitney, The Montanian
Players to perform Lysistrata at
The Pitiful Players will perform “Lysistrata” on Friday, June 26, at 7 p.m. in Libby at the Fred Brown Pavilion in Riverfront Park.
Lysistrata is about the long running war between the Athenians and the Spartans, and the women’s way to bring peace. This is an adult Greek comedy written some 2,400 years ago, and may not be suitable for young audiences, as the women of the warring countries join together in refusing their men.
Much like they did two years ago with Antigone, they will be performing with scripts in hand. And, like all Pitiful Players productions, admission is free, so bring a chair and come join the fun. For more information call 293- 9277 or find us on Facebook.
Submitted by Keith Meyers
Paving is complete throughout the swamp creek Hwy 2 project
Motorists will drive on new pavement through the project area that’s been under construction for two seasons. Crews finished paving work, and have begun installing guardrail along the roadway. The work is expected to take a few weeks to complete.
What to expect: Traffic will be reduced to a single lane and controlled with traffic signals and a pilot car when workers are present. Expect up to 15-minute delays. Speed limit is reduced to 35 mph at all times.
Project overview: The Montana Department of Transportation is reconstructing five miles of roadway and a bridge over Swamp Creek on US Highway 2, approximately 15 miles southeast of Libby. Construction is anticipated to be completed in this fall.
Improvements include: Widening the travel lanes to 12 feet. Adding 4-foot shoulders on both sides of the roadway. Replacing a bridge over Swamp Creek with a wider single-span concrete bridge. Repaving the road surface of US 2. Using Geofoam blocks as part of the road base to limit the settling of the road.
For more information about the project visit: www.mdt.gov/pubinvolve/swampcreek Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: (406) 465-3350. For current road conditions and traffic updates visit: http://roadreport.mdt.mt.gov/travinfomobile/
Submitted by Montana Department of Transportation