MISSOULA, Montana — A remote section of this state’s northwest seems an unlikely place for a pro-choice rally over Independence Day weekend. The small town of Eureka, about 1,400 people, is home to over a dozen churches, voted 73 percent for Donald Trump in 2020, and earlier this year hosted a trucker protest by hundreds at the Canadian border crossing 10 miles away.
Perhaps less likely is who is organizing the rally: Sequoia Rhodes Adams, the 19-year-old daughter of Oath Keepers militia founder Stewart Rhodes. The family patriarch is currently in jail awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to seditious conspiracy charges related to what federal prosecutors say his far-right group conspired to storm the US Capitol on Jan. 6 .
“I was extremely anti-feminist growing up,” Sequoia told The Daily Beast, describing her political transformation into a pro-choice activist after the family left Rhodes’ Montana home in 2018, which they previously described as violent , had fled.
“He couldn’t even talk about abortion or he would freak out,” she said of her father.
Sequoia and her adult siblings made allegations of abuse against their father in a recent interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center. These claims came on top of allegations of violence made in a 2018 request for a restraining order from Sequoia’s mother Tasha, Rhodes’ estranged wife. (The restraining order was denied by a local judge, and divorce proceedings are pending. However, several family members made similar domestic violence allegations in a recent inside story.)
Sequoia said in an interview this week that experiencing everyday sexism after escaping a life of isolation in Rhodes’ home opened her eyes to the inequality of women in America.
“Once you have a kid, you stick with them,” she told The Daily Beast.
“That’s why we couldn’t go,” added her mother, Tasha Adams, in an interview. “Because we had so many children.”
Tasha described Rhodes as controlling the family, “loading them with responsibilities” — giant dogs, chickens — so leaving would be a logistical nightmare. For her, the responsibility lay with children — six of them, the youngest, born when Tasha, now 50, was 42 after three miscarriages and one stillbirth.
Sequoia can’t remember a time when her mother wasn’t breastfeeding.
In a recent blog post, Tasha recounted one such failed pregnancy in 2010 and accused her husband of using the tragedy for political ends during an Oath Keepers power struggle. “I almost bled to death,” Tasha told The Daily Beast, describing waking up in a pool of her own blood and her eldest children stopping the bleeding when they couldn’t get Rhodes’ attention.
Sequoia was young but remembers one detail vividly: “The carpets were stained with blood.”
An attorney representing Rhodes in his sedition case declined to comment on the story.
Abortion remains legal in Montana, there are no trigger laws on the books, and a 1999 ruling by the progressively-dominated State Supreme Court enshrined abortion rights in Montans’ constitutional right to privacy.
But that ruling came after increasing violence against abortion providers in Montana. By the early 1990s, half of the state’s abortion clinics had been burned down, according to the simultaneous reporting Missoulianthree of them by a man who later pleaded guilty to setting fires to eight across the West.
One of the clinics destroyed by firebombs was in the town of Kalispell, an hour south of Eureka. Another clinic eventually opened in Kalispell but was destroyed and closed in 2014. A new clinic for the area opened in 2018 in the neighboring town of Whitefish. Every state that borders Montana has banned or attempted to ban abortion Dobbs rule and leave the state as a kind of oasis.
But even though it’s a vaguely purple state, Montana was also dominated by the GOP in the last election. Various approaches to banning abortion have been put forward by anti-abortion activists and politicians in recent months, such as: B. a constitutional amendment or a constitutional convention. These routes face high voting margins and must be confirmed by Montana voters.
Even without state intervention, it was announced Friday that Planned Parenthood of Montana will refuse medical abortions to clients from states that have banned abortion, demonstrating a new climate of national hostility to reproductive rights.
Saturday’s rally in Eureka begins at 3:30 p.m. in Riverside Park in partnership with Flathead Valley Pro Choice, a group that formed last year as a local women’s reproductive rights organization before branching out.
FVPC organizer Nikki Eisinger told The Daily Beast she was impressed with Sequoia and her younger sister also helping out with the rally.
“They are strong and intelligent young women,” she said.
Sequoia said she was outraged by the recent events Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Judgment repealing the federal abortion law. But not just because of her newfound feminism. Rather, it seemed to her like a betrayal of the libertarian conservatism of the people she grew up with — a worldview that she understood to mean that everyone has the right to privacy from the government.
“And then the same people took it from me,” she said.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/her-dad-is-a-far-right-militia-boss-shes-organizing-a-pro-choice-rally?source=articles&via=rss Her father is a right-wing extremist militia boss. She organizes a pro-choice rally.