A Militia Has Taken Over A Federal Building In Oregon

AP, January 2

Burns, OR — A peaceful protest Saturday in support of an eastern Oregon ranching family facing jail time for arson was followed shortly afterward by an occupation of a building at a national wildlife refuge.

Ammon Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a standoff with the government over grazing rights, told The Oregonian he and two of his brothers were among a group of dozens of people occupying the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page asking for people to come help him. Below the video is this statement: “**ALL PATRIOTS ITS TIME TO STAND UP NOT STAND DOWN!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! COME PREPARED.”

Ammon Bundy said the group planned to stay at the refuge indefinitely.

“We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” Ammon Bundy said. “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

Related, Charlie Pierce: How Cliven Bundy Changed Our National Politics, Esquire, December 10, 2015

Wikipedia: Malheur Incident.

Twitter: Ammon Bundy – Leave our land alone.

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  • ‘Oregon Under Attack’: Anger over limited response to hostile militia takeover of US government building

    The start of an armed separatist movement in rural America – or an out-of-control local dispute?

    The Independent, By Adam Withnall, January 3

    An armed militia group has broken into and occupied a US government building, declaring its desire to break free from the shackles of federal control and saying it is willing to “kill or be killed” in doing so.

    The takeover of a remote refuge centre near Burns, Oregon, has prompted a huge reaction on social media but limited mainstream coverage, prompting many to question whether it is yet another incident of “white terrorism” going unreported.

    […]

    A reporter said he had seen evidence of no more than a dozen people with a similar number of vehicles at the scene before he was made to leave, while the group itself has claimed to have 100 to 150 members involved in the action.

    […]

    In a video posted to Facebook, Ammon Bundy said the building they had taken over represented “tyranny” of central government control and described the start of what would effectively amount to a separatist movement.

    Unarmed, he told a local resident filming on a phone that the place would be a “base” for the militia and that the occupation would last “several years”.

    […]

    As of Sunday morning, the incident was beginning to gain greater traction among the US media – and the sheriff’s office promised “a collective effort from multiple agencies” at first light.

    #OregonUnderAttack


    The WaPo is on it: Armed militia, Bundy brothers take over federal building in rural Oregon

    Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman in Portland, told the AP that the bureau was aware of the situation at the wildlife refuge, but she declined further comment.

    A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told CNN that the agency and the Bureau of Land Management are monitoring the armed protesters.

    “While the situation is ongoing, the main concern is employee safety, and we can confirm that no federal staff were in the building at the time of the initial incident,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to monitor the situation.”

  •   Maybe we should step back, instead of standing nose-to-tree and missing the forest.
      This is just one specific instance of a mindset and behavior which is becoming more and more widespread across the social/political spectrum: the feeling that The Establishment lacks legitimacy. Sometimes it’s set off by Officialdom Behaving Badly (trigger-happy, heavy-handed, bigoted, militarized police); sometimes by massive and ongoing stupidity (War On Drugs, Iraq et al); sometimes by arrogant self-entitlement (Bundy Sr refusing to pay for grazing his cattle on BLM land, politicians feeling the Rules Don’t Apply To Them); sometimes by government mismanagement (student loans, healthcare, un/under-employment, bankster bailouts).sometimes by recognition that the Corporate Behemoth is slouching toward Bethlehem Mayhem to be born (NAFTA, TPP).
      The general view among political scientists that the measure of legitimacy of a government is the willingness of the people to pay their taxes. I’ve always questioned that criterion, particularly as much tax collection is involuntary and there is wide-spread evasion/avoidance/cheating with very little social opprobrium. In some countries it’s become almost a game.
      I think many people feel/recognize The System Isn’t Working Anymore. They are drowning in ignorance and fear. They grasp at whatever straws float by – guns, Donald Trump, racism, homophobia, Fundamentalism – whatever they believe promises to restore the security of their mis-remembered (and never understood) childhood.
      This is how societies, nations, civilizations fall – not all at once, but piece by piece. When national and international authority isn’t doing the job for the people, they turn to local authority, creating it ad hoc if necessary. Localism can and may well be in the cards for most of the world over the next century, but one hopes it will be founded on more reasonable tenets and manifest more intelligently.

  • Negotiations Begin With Bundy And FBI

    OPB, by Amanda Peacher & John Sepulvado, January 21

    Ammon Bundy, the leader of a group of armed occupants at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, showed up unexpectedly at the airport in Burns Thursday to talk with a negotiator from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The negotiator wasn’t on site, and Bundy spoke with him by phone, standing outside the concrete barriers at the base.

    “The only ones that are going to make this a non-peaceful event will be you guys — the FBI or other law enforcement,” Bundy told the negotiator by phone.

    “I want to keep the dialogue going. We want to work together with you,” the negotiator said to Bundy.

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