The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 50 miles southeast of Burns for years.I have absolutely NO visibility on the militia movement, but this seems insane.
The occupation came shortly after an estimated 300 marchers — militia and local citizens both — paraded through Burns to protest the prosecution of two Harney County ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday.
Among the occupiers is Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and two of his brothers. Militia members at the refuge claimed they had as many as 150 supporters with them. The refuge, federal property managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was closed and unoccupied for the holiday weekend.
In phone interviews from inside the occupied building Saturday night, Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan Bundy, said they are not looking to hurt anyone. But they would not rule out violence if police try to remove them, they said, though they declined to elaborate.
“The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,” Ammon Bundy said.
“We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” he added. “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”
Here it is. Please know these men will speak to people civilly. Do not go up there guns blazing. Stay safe and smart.
It also makes me wonder about all the different fault lines that are being drawn in this country. The Black Lives Matter movement gets all the attention but if you want to talk about dangerous customers then you better look at the militia and Sovereign Citizen movements.
Even more curious? Check out how this breaks down (at least from what I can tell)....you have BLM focusing on city police and the oversteps they make. They trust federal law enforcement and request their aid in investigating local depts. The militia movement hates city and federal law enforcement but loves the sheriff's dept. Sovereign Citizens hates all law enforcement.
But back to this issue.
It seems like the Bundy folks have got themselves all lathered up and want a confrontation. I wonder if they have visions of a "Branch Davidian" style fight?
Additionally I expected some type of LE response to the aiming of firearms at federal police during the first Bundy incident but so far nothing. There has to be some intel that's telling the Feds that a confrontation is exactly what these people want AND that the response will be "vigorous". I'm not sure but would love to know.
I wonder how close to the ragged edge society really is.