On Saturday, the Oregonian reported that members of the Bundy family joined what it called “hard-core militiamen” to occupy the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge 50 miles southeast of Burns, Oregon.
According to a post at Oregon Live:
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.
Infowars’ Kurt Nimmo explains:
The feds decided to prosecute the Hammonds, who own about 12,000 acres in the Diamond-Frenchglen area of Oregon, after they used fire as a tool to combat invasive plant species on their ranch. The government accused the ranchers of allowing the fire to spread to federally owned land.
The Bundys say they do not want to hurt anyone but, the report added, would not rule out violence if police try to remove them.
“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.”
The occupation took place after militia groups tried to reassure local residents they meant no trouble. And it seems the move is not universally accepted. The report added:
Brandon Curtiss, a militia leader from Idaho, told The Oregonian/OregonLive he knew nothing about the occupation. He helped organize Saturday’s protest and was at the Harney County Fairgrounds with dozens of other militia for a post-parade function. Another militia leader, BJ Soper, took to Facebook to denounce the occupation.
Earlier Saturday, Tim Brown reported at Freedom Outpost:
The militia groups have been encouraging the residents to stand alongside them against the tyranny that has become the federal government and the BLM.
However, many in the community want them to go home. Signs have been put up in yards of homes that read, “Go Home Bundys!” and even a warning was issued by “The Committee” that reads:
Any individuals or groups of individuals that detain or attempt to detain any US Citizen Resident of Harney County will not be tolerated. Self-appointed militia, household troops or other unaffiliated armed group garrisoned in the confines of this county be warned. Any detention of our citizen residents will be dealt with rapidly and with great retribution. This is your only warning.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) January 3, 2016
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
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- Harry Reid: Bundy supporters ‘domestic terrorists,’ hints at federal task force