Disclaimer: Although I am the current Chair of the Cascade County Democrats, all opinions expressed in this post are my own, and I am not speaking on behalf of the Cascade County Democrats.
It’s been a couple weeks since the dust has settled from the 4th of July parade in Great Falls. And do I have a story to tell you…
If State Representative Lola Sheldon-Galloway (R-Great Falls) and the other organizers of the City of Great Falls’ Fourth of July Parade had had their way, the Democrats would have been silenced. On the Tuesday before the parade, one of the officers of the Cascade County Democrats received this message from lead organizer Lola Sheldon-Galloway:
“Because of the Protesters that joined the entry last year, we are getting bad reviews and comments about the 4th of July Parade. We want to remind you that the parade is not the place for protesting or ‘pushing’ an alternate agenda. Protesting has its time and place and the 4th of July parade is not it. We will not allow protesting from anyone as a part of the parade this year. We would appreciate your help in making sure there won’t be an issue on Tuesday. If you have any questions please reach out.
Great Falls 4th of July parade committee”
That’s one hell of a position from an elected state representative whose campaign slogan is the sickeningly ironic “leave our liberties alone.”
What are they whining about?
With regards to the “protestors” of 2022, the Western Word blog wrote about the Cascade County Democrats participation in that year’s parade here. Emotions were extremely high after the fall of Roe v. Wade, and several pro-choice marchers walked in solidarity with the Democrats. Republicans and anti-choicers didn’t like that. And Lola and crew are apparently still holding a grudge.
What happened in the 2023 Parade?
After receiving Lola’s attempt at censorship, the Cascade County Democrats promptly disregarded it. As previously planned, the Democrats made sure to be in compliance with the parade participation rules on the application form and ensured there was no profanity or disturbing imagery on signs held in the parade. Political organizations, including Republican ones, often have signs of their organization’s platform. We are guaranteed a constitutional right to speech, and it would be quite the legally questionable decision if the City of Great Falls chose to enforce one set of standards upon Democrats while allowing all other entrants full and unabridged participation.
The parade went off without a hitch, with lots of energy from the Democratic participants. A video of the 2023 Democrats’ float and marchers can be seen here.
And that…made Lola big mad.
More Whining from Sheldon-Galloway
On July 5th, Lola complained to the City Commission during public comment that “there is an issue that’s coming up. This has been the second year it’s happened. We had protestors in our parade, and we feel, as a committee, that it’s the wrong place with the wrong message with wording that children should not be seeing on the parade route, and it spoils the day….I had asked in advance…that just not be a part of our parade.” (at the video here around minute 31).
How to talk to our children?
As a parent myself, what messages should children not be seeing?
- My body, my choice?
- Safe Abortions Save Lives?
- Bans off our Bodies?
Parents have the ability to talk to their children in an age-appropriate way. If I thought my children were too young to understand something, I would use my words and BE A PARENT. “It’s a medical procedure, and I’ll tell you more about it when you are older.” Furthermore, how is that more disturbing than the gruesome staged pro-life signs outside of Planned Parenthood that Lola regularly joins and bafflingly pushes an empty baby stroller?
Representative Lola Sheldon-Galloway can stay mad
She and her Republican party have politicized our bodies, our medical procedures, and who we are to score political points. We’ve reported repeatedly on Rep. Sheldon-Galloway’s legislative hate here and here and here. People all over Montana and our country are needlessly suffering and some are dying because of legislators like Lola. How is that for a family friendly life?
All of us can appreciate standing up for our rights on Independence Day.