Oh, dear, they’ve really done it now.
A handful of self-styled “militia” left a protest yesterday in Burns, Oregon, drove to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge an hour away, and occupied the visitor’s center.
The fears of many Burns-area residents of violence when hundreds of militia members converged on the small town failed to materialize as a protest march and rally went peacefully Saturday, in support of a pair of ranchers about to begin their second federal prison term on an arson conviction.
But a short time later, a smaller group took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, about 60 miles to the southeast.
Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher known for his 2014 standoff with the federal government, told NewsChannel 21 he and his group are prepared to stay at the refuge for as long as necessary. He urged others to join them, saying they are peaceful and don’t mean any harm.
“It is the people’s facility, owned by the people,” Bundy said. “And it has been provided for us, to be able to come together and unite in making a hard stand against this overreach, this taking of the people’s land and resources.”
While most people in town support the ranching family, the militia groups’ involvement has been sparking controversy for weeks.
“I don’t like the militia’s methods,” said resident Monica McCannon who held up signs against the militia. “They had their rally. Now it’s time for them to go home. People are afraid of them.”
Others in town shared that sentiment.
“It’s sort of frightening when there are people making threats and people toting guns,” Jordan said.
Militia organizers insisted they weren’t here to cause any harm to anybody.
“We’re here for a peaceful rally,” Curtiss said. “If the Hammonds decided not to go to prison and stand up for their rights, we would stand right by their side. What would entail after that, I don’t know.”
The marchers gathered out front of the house, and one by one went to hug Dwight Hammond and his wife.
“To think that there’s this many people showing up,” he said, his voice breaking.
“I thank everyone who came out here today.”
It doesn’t change the outcome. On Monday Hammond and his son are going back to prison.
“See you in five years,” Hammond said.
Later, in a video message widely spread on Facebook, Ammon Bundy, reportedly joined in the takeover by two brothers and dozens of other militia members, explained why they had taken that step.
“This will become a base place for patriots from all over the country to come and be housed here,” he said, standing on a snowy road. “And we’re planning on staying here for several years.”
Bundy said they will be “bringing the lands up and getting the ranchers back to ranching and the miners back to mining, putting the loggers back to logging, where they could do it under the protection of the people, and not be afraid of this tyranny that has been upon them.”
According to other reporters at the scene who have reported through the night, the “dozens of others” is actually a total group of 12-15 guys. They’ve taken over the visitor’s center/park offices of a remote wildlife sanctuary in the middle of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Quite frankly their location is so remote that no one would likely know they were even there if they hadn’t alerted the media themselves.
The locals are not amused at these outsiders from other states coming in to their community to have what many are seeing as a cynical attempt to use tomorrow’s surrender of the Hammonds to their own ends, and have told them that they aren’t wanted, time and time again.
Sadly, many of the “social justice warriors” who cried for “tolerance” after Black Lives Matter supporters reduced their own neighborhoods to ash are now pushing the social media hashtag #OregonUnderAttack, and are calling for the federal government to crush what they are attempting to gin up as a “terrorist” act.
Folks, for there to be “terrorism” there must be someone “terrorized”… and a couple of squirrels and geese don’t count.
Ammond Bundy and his handful of supporters carpetbagged his way into another state where the local population at large and the Hammonds in particular don’t want his bluster and interference. He’s attempting to jumpstart support for his group by triggering a confrontation from an absurd rural location with no real strategic or tactical importance, and little worth.
I’d have the local sheriff simply block access in or out to deny them resupply, then cut the utilities, and let what the Russians call “General Winter” do the rest.