Anne Helen Petersen Profile picture
Mar 24, 2018 19 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Reporting from the March for Our Lives in Helena, Montana - Population 30k. This is Amelie, Amanda, and Tyler, who helped organize the event. “This is an incredible opportunity. We didn’t ask adults permission to do this. We just did it.”
This is Francie and Bud, who drove an hour from Cascade to be here. Bud was a history teacher for 37 years; first got shot at in 1973.

“I never dreamed that we’d be in our 70s and have to be marching.”
“It’s important that we’re here in Montana, a state full of people who love guns. We’re not taking about taking everyone’s guns away. We’re talking about sensible gun reform.”
The woman on the far left has been a victim or in close proximity to gun violence her entire life. In 1993, her husband assaulted her and threatened her with a gun; he was arrested, but when he was released, they allowed him to keep his gun.
What a good dad sign
Here’s Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins, the first black mayor elected in Montana & an truly electric public speaker. “We’re not meeting here today because we’re against gun. We’re meeting here because our kids are telling us ‘We want to be safe, and you’re not doing your jobs’”
Wilmot Collins: “I remember when kids used to run *to* school because of safety. Now they run *from* school because of danger. Our kids are holding us accountable, and I’m embarrassed they’re holding us accountable.”
This is Mariah, who helped spearhead the planning of the march. She didn’t want to do an interview b/c the leaders decided they wanted to spread who get to speak for the movement. Posting to highlight just how thoughtful these students are about the way their movement is mediated
This Trevor Noah quote is all over student speeches and signs here in Helena
“In a few years, in a few MONTHS, we will be exercising our right to vote. We will not vote for politicians who are the pocket of the NRA. We are the future of this state, we are the future of this country, and we say enough is enough.”
The crowd here in Helena. “The courage of students all over the country - and here in Montana - has already had an immeasurable impact...You kids are saying something *can* be done, and I don’t think you’re going to stop until it *is* done.”
Montana Protest Dog
Now speaking: John Moffat, who was shot in the Lewistown, MT school shooting in 1986. “20 years later, the students who were in that room are still receiving counseling.”
Always look for the grandmas, they have the most elaborate signs
This is Sylvia. Today, she registered to vote.
Jack Copps, Helena Superintendent, father to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, grandfather to a 5th grader, shot by a 4th grader in Butte in 1994:

“Every young person: don’t let this movement stop here. Carry it forward.”
Josh Manning (@joshuamanning23) and his daughter. Manning was one of dozens of #VetsForGunReform at the Helena March
Final note from out here in Montana. They’re not just mobilizing. They’re registering to vote. According to these volunteers, the vast majority who registered today: young people.
March For Our Lives Rallies Made A Huge Push To Register Teen Voters Across The US:…

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More from @annehelen

Sep 28, 2018
At the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. I’ve hardly slept, my bag got lost, I haven’t showered, I’m about to go see a panel on women in political power and to either break my heart or restore it
Wendy Davis will be there and also I am eating a breakfast taco, not everything is bad
I’m at a panel about blue wave vs. tsunami; interesting point from Dave Wasserman - rural areas in Texas have become more GOP, but the suburban areas that voted for Trump were never crazy about him, which is why the GOP reps are fighting for their political lives
Read 49 tweets
Aug 2, 2018
For the next week, I’m following the Beto O’Rourke campaign around on its swing through West(ish) Texas. First stop: Abilene.

“I’m not a Democrat,” a longtime Abilene resident told me this morning. “But I’m sure as heck not voting for Ted Cruz.”
One of the observations of the recent Beto profiles is that his supporters are largely white and middle-aged; those ladies are here, but so are teens and moms and seniors; I’d say ~60% of the crowd is white.
The thing I’ve heard again and again today: Candidates don’t come here. Ted Cruz hasn’t been here, they say, since he first got elected. Democrats assume it’ll go Red and stay away. This is Beto’s fourth trip to Abilene.
Read 22 tweets
Jul 5, 2018
I’ll be reporting all day from the Trump Rally in Great Falls, Montana. This is the first rally for about 400 miles in any direction, and people have driven here from all over. This guy drove 12 hours from Gillette, Wyoming.
Here at the counter-protest. “It was important for us to be here - to show that there are people who are opposed to bigotry and hate.”
Tons of Jon Tester signs in the crowd. “I find it hard to believe Montanans will go for what Trump’s saying about Tester. He’s our local boy. I felt like I couldn’t let Trump come to my town without registering how I feel.”
Read 37 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
I get asked a lot if I ever get scared out in the field as a reporter. My answer has always been no, because I'm white & straight-presenting & don't wear penny loafers.

There's more and more evidence as to just how naive that belief is.
Last year, I was covering a congressional race where a fellow reporter was bodyslammed by a candidate. That candidate won his race and is running for re-election.
I've had people email death threats, threaten to cut my dog's throat, tell me I'd pay for my fake news. My mom told me to stop tagging my neighborhood on Instagram, I told her she was over-reacting.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 22, 2018
Spent the last 2 days at the Range Rights Conference in Modesto, CA, where Rep. Devin Nunes made a surprise appearance and told the crowd:

"The media that's here, they're here to mock you and call you a bunch of people in cowboy hats"
Other Nunes highlights:

"I think we need a free press, but 90% of publications are owned by hard left billionaires"

"The media is totally corrupt, if you don't think 90% of the media is totally corrupt, you're fooling yourself"
- Suggested that Russia is probably funding money into the US to protect the Endangered Species Act

- Said that the Mueller Investigation is filled with far left Democrats
Read 9 tweets
Mar 25, 2018
Did you attend a march that didn't get much attention from the national media? I'd love to see a picture or hear about it.
Here's some pics sent to me via DM of the march in Norfolk, Virginia — which drew between 4000-5000 people.
Another from the DMs: Plattsburgh, New York, population 2,000:
Read 52 tweets

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