Peaceful protesters arrested as city of Helena removes Confederate fountain

Peaceful protesters arrested as city of Helena removes Confederate fountain

[Ed. – Maybe the protesters could have avoided arrest by hurling bags of urine and feces at city workers.]

Two protesters were arrested Friday as the city of Helena removed a monument to Confederate soldiers that has been in a park in Montana’s capital city since 1916.

Trisha Sorenson, 60, of Helena, was arrested Friday morning after refusing to move as the city put up a temporary fence around the granite fountain in Hill Park. Bradley J. Banks, 61, of Helena, was arrested about 1 p.m. after going under the fence and approaching the monument. Police said Banks appeared intoxicated, and both were accused of obstructing police, which is a misdemeanor.

Calls for the removal of the fountain increased after violence over the weekend, including a death, during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Though no official vote was taken, members of the Helena City Commission ordered its removal on Wednesday, citing public safety concerns.

A handful of people opposed to the removal, including Sorenson, remained in the park through Thursday night. Helena Assistant Police Chief Steve Hagen said police received no calls Thursday night about those in the park, and no laws were broken until Sorenson was arrested.

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