Officer assigned to Helena drag event that was targeted on social media


The Helena Police Department will assign an officer to Saturday’s Drag Story Hour at Montana Book Company in Helena, after an anti-extremist group warned that a social media user encouraged people to shut it down.

According to a high-risk activity briefing issued by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Gab social media network user with the username AaronJLeas encouraged people to “show up to shut this pedophile garbage down” and wrote that he would be there. The user’s Gab profile says he lives in East Helena and includes the hashtag #MontanaOathKeeper, the briefing says. The Oath Keepers is one of the largest far-right antigovernment groups in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

“Analysts did not observe direct threats, but due to recent incidents of harassment and armed protests at LGBTQ+ events nationwide, there is an increased risk of harm at this event,” the briefing says.

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Scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Montana Book Company, the Drag Story Hour is being held as part of the weeklong Montana Pride LGBTQ celebration in Helena. The story hour is billed as a family-friendly event that

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