For much of 2001, a conflict was brewing between David Burgert and law enforcement in the Flathead Valley. Early in the year, David got into a physical confrontation with some cops at his home in Kalispell. Later, in November, the local search and rescue team refused his assistance when a young boy was lost in an area David was familiar with; the boy later died. And finally, on Nov. 27, 2001, David was pepper-sprayed and arrested in downtown Kalispell before spending a night in jail. Friends say that night was a breaking point for David.
On this week’s episode of Project 7, the new podcast series from the Flathead Beacon, hosts Andy Viano and Justin Franz dissect the events of Nov. 27, 2001 in detail, then turn their attention to the nationwide militia movement that coalesced in the wake of violent conflicts in Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas. The Militia of Montana was one of the nation’s first modern militias, and one of its followers was David Burgert, who was growing more radical by the day in part by listening to a Kalispell radio host named John Stokes. Fuming at his own mistreatment and what he saw as a tyrannical federal government, Burgert would go on to start his own militia in the Flathead Valley and threaten unfathomable acts of violence.
Subscribe to Project 7 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or other podcast platforms to make sure you don’t miss an episode.
Episode 3: The Radical Within
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