The Idaho Statehouse is in a mess. Corrupt politicians that hide behind the mask of Mormonism are holding a yard sale where they sell the environment, human rights, healthcare and education to the highest bidder. Profits over people has become mantra in this mass of immorality.
Instead of being the representatives to the state for the people who elected them, they instead try to represent the state to the people. Instead of listening to the citizens of Idaho for their guidance, they reach across the country to listen to the siren’s call of corrupt corporations. Doing the right thing has been replaced in the Idaho Capitol with doing what’s expedient and personally profitable.
Behind the scenes, pulling and manipulating the strings like a puppeteer is Frank VanderSloot. A billionaire whose money came from the pockets of people willing to set aside credibility in order to pursue a fading carrot, VanderSloot has exercised his power over legislators through the dollars accumulating in his pocket. It is not much of a stretch imagine VanderSloot’s Riverbend Ranch in Idaho Falls being the plantation house in the antebellum south from where the “massa” gives the marching orders to the overseers who make sure the “field hands” are doing the “massa’s” bidding.
In a movement that will make Nat Turner’s rebellion look like a cake walk though Idahoans are beginning to revolt. People are tired of finding the boot of the Nazi-like regime called Idaho politics on their throats.
The ground rumbles underfoot as thousands across the state realize they have a voice with which to speak. People are gathering in coffee shops, sidewalk restaurants, city parks, homes, back porches and by the river to say, “Something needs to happen”. And something is about to happen.
The tension is in the air; the tension is palpable. With the same anticipation that a teenage boy experiences when he’s about to get his first kiss, people are seeing the doors of legislative bondage open and they are stepping through enmasse.
Just as a grassfire in Mountain Home begins with a spark and spreads to cover thousands of acres, Idaho citizens have experienced that first spark and the wildfire of revolution is on the horizon.
One group leading the revolution is United Vision for Idaho (UVI). With just 2000 members a few years ago, today UVI involves 13,000 revolutionary firebrands and is an umbrella for twenty-four social justice groups fighting for equality and fairness in Idaho.
Adrienne Evans, Executive Director of UVI says, “It’s not surprising that activism in Idaho is where it is today. People have been held down and kept down by decades of failed policy. Our representatives are increasingly out of touch with the realities facing real people. Like other places around the country we have long eclipsed a time when we could sit idly by.” “Our lives are literally hanging in the balance and people have had enough. In one of the most conservative states in the nation real people are standing up and taking to the streets and demanding a better day,” says Evans.
Jerry Nelson is a nationally recognized photojournalist who covers social justice issues throughout the country. Follow him through Twitter @Journey_America