Riot police break up protests at Montana state Capitol

A person with a sign attends a rally to protest the passing of SB 150 on March 29, 2023 at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. SB 150, which was proposed by State Senator Max Wise (R-KY), is criticized by many as a "Don't Say Gay" bill and was vetoed by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear during the General Assembly. Lawmakers may override this veto, passing the bill into law. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 12:15 PM – Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Riot police broke up protests at the Montana State Capitol after left-wing protesters disrupted proceedings on Monday.


Groups of protesters descended on the Montana House of Representatives on Monday, disrupting proceedings in support of transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr (D-Mont.).

According to the Conservative state legislators, Zephyr made comments which amounted towards “hateful rhetoric” when the Democrat had addressed the legislators on April 18th.

“The only thing I will say, is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said.

The bill that was referenced to by Zephyr would ban minors in the state from receiving cross-gender surgical procedures, hormones, and puberty blockers. The bill was then passed and sent to Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), he is expected to sign it into law.

State Speaker Matt Regier (R-Mont.) had then refused to recognize Zephyr when the Democrat wanted to address another bill which would put a binary definition of male and female in the state code.

“It is up to me to maintain decorum here on the House floor, to protect the dignity and integrity,” Regier said. “And any representative that I don’t feel can do that will not be recognized.”

Regier then proceeded to censure Zephyr saying his decision was made due to several similar incidents that have occurred previously. Representative Caleb Hinkle (R-Mont.), who had been one of the representatives that demanded the censure, said that “hate-filled testimony” is not welcomed on the House floor.

Zephyr addressed the censure saying that the real reason behind the censure was to “take away the rights of trans and queer Montanans.”

“I want to be clear: no amount of silencing tactics will deter me from standing up for the rights of the transgender community,” the Democrat said. “I will not apologize for speaking with clarity and precision about the harm these bills cause. Montana Republicans say they want an apology, but what they really want is silence as they take away the rights of trans and queer Montanans.”

On Monday, after the censure on Zephyr was upheld by 63 yes votes, left-wing supporters in the gallery began shouting “let her speak” disrupting the proceedings on the floor. Regier then called for order and asked for the gallery to be cleared.

When protesters did not comply with the Sergeant at Arms, police units from the Montana Highway Patrol and the Lewis and Clark sheriff’s office proceeded to clear out the gallery.

The Montana Freedom Caucus said that the events that unfolded were an insurrection and called for “immediate disciplinary action” against Zephyr saying that the Democrat had encouraged violence at the state Capitol.

On the other hand, State House Minority Leader Kim Abbott (D-Mont.) had applauded the protesters saying that they had seen “Montanans show up and engage int eh democratic process.”

“Today we saw Montanans show up and engage in the democratic process, and some of those Montanans were arrested,” Abbott said. “To me, it’s an incredible statement in support of the trans, nonbinary and Two Spirit community — and against the Republican agenda that would strip our neighbors of their basic rights, dignity and humanity.”

Seven arrests were made by police on Monday in the Montana State Capitol.

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