Militia Members in Federal Refuge Standoff Issues Call for Help

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The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., where militia members are holdup.  (AP Photo/Keith Ridler)

Militia members still occupying the wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon have put out a call for assistance from other citizen’s militia groups and other people who oppose a “militarized police presence” in Burns, Ore. They are requesting likeminded persons to converge on the small high desert town near the wildlife refuge that they have occupied almost a month.

Thus far, at least one group has responded to the request, on Saturday, The Pacific Patriots Network organized a rolling rally through the town, and said it planned more demonstrations to protest the killing of one of the Citizens Militia Member last week. That member was killed in what appears to have been a government arranged ambush that was designed to leave all the Militia leadership dead. The area around Burns has since been the scene of a build-up of numerous heavily armed law enforcement officers, despite the fact that only 4 members are believed to be still at the wildlife center.

B.J. Soper, a Burns resident and organizer of the rally said, “Our goal is to show the country that this county does support what is going on.” The rally was very successful for the short notice that participants had, with more than 100 people and dozens of U.S. and Confederate flag-covered vehicles taking part.

There was one lone woman who showed up to oppose the rally. Jen Hoke of Burns carried a sign saying “Militia Go Home.” ”These people are spreading a message of hate,” Hoke said.

But holding steadfast in their commitment, the four remaining Militia Members occupying the wildlife refuge held their position Sunday. They have demanded that they be allowed to leave without being arrested. Meanwhile, the Militia’s leader, who was also in at the scene of the deadly ambush and who’s brother was wounded, remained in jail. Ammon Bundy, and 10 other Militia members were arrested earlier in the week, most of them were taken into custody at the ambush site. According to the members lawyers, none of them where armed at the time of the attack by government forces, including Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who was murdered in the confrontation.

While the standoff that originated over federal land-use policies has led to filled-up hotels and restaurants as police, protesters and media have flocked to the area, locals say that much like the first American Revolution, the conflict is pitting neighbor against neighbor.

Bundy and several other jailed leaders appeared Friday in federal court in Portland, where a judge denied their release constitutional right to bail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne pose a danger to the community, and she is concerned they would not follow orders to return to Oregon for criminal proceedings.

Court documents detail some of the evidence against the occupiers. The charges against the defendants say the refuge’s 16 employees have been prevented from reporting to work because of threats of violence. Those are hardly violent charges that warrant a denial of bail.

Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the group’s spokesman, was killed Tuesday night in a confrontation that resulted from the ambush set by the government. The group was on its way to talk to citizens in another town when their vehicles were attacked by FBI and Oregon State Police on a remote road. Bundy and four others were arrested during the encounter. People at the rolling rally held up pictures of Finicum on Saturday, and demanded justice.

The FBI on Thursday released a video showing Finicum’s death, to counter claims he did nothing to provoke his killing. In the aerial video, Finicum is pulled over in his truck but then after sitting there for three minutes and 45 seconds, he drives away later only to crash into a snow bank avoiding a roadblock complete with two armored trucks. He gets out and has his hands up as he struggles to walk toward officers in thigh high snow. At one point, he drops is hands slightly trying to keep his balance then he is shot and grabs his side where he was hit and is shot again from behind.

Officials first said that it was unclear who had fired first, but reports surfaced that none of the Militia members were armed at the time out of fear they would be killed if such an ambush occurred. Then Authorities said that they recoverd a 9MM pistol from “LaVoy’s” pocket. But his gun was shown later by members that were still at the refuge still in its holster at the camp.

 

©2016 R. L. Grimes

 

3 Comments on "Militia Members in Federal Refuge Standoff Issues Call for Help"

  1. Sheila amrine | 02/01/2016 at 9:59 pm | Reply

    This is bullshit the one who shot him should be put in jail and that judge should be bared this man was shot in cold blood and them bastard are going to walk and they will move to the next one if we don’t stand behind bunny one of us could be next tell me how to help

  2. As a small, insignificant resident of the Central United States, I can’t help but speak my mind about this horrific series of events. The FBI and Oregon Law Enforcement has been constantly going on the networks, trying to weave a new “story” to shove down the throats of the innocent people in this country to try and pursuade us to accept their bs and to justify their actions against LaVoy Finicum as something other than cold blooded murder. I was so relieved, in a way to see this group step up and answer the call for help from the few people still fighting for their rights. I would go support them in a heartbeat and in spirit, I’m there 100%. America has been emotional and physically “beaten” by this crooked government for too long. Some “blind” Americans continue to turn the other cheek and ignore the growing violence and disregard for our rights under the American Constitution. For them, I’m sorry you are that weak minded but as for me, I fear my children will be stripped of all human decency and freedom when they are old enough to form their opinions of the nation they live in. That is unforgivable. As much as it hurts me to say it, I’m ashamed of my country. It is time that true Americans start taking more stands to defend their God given rights according to the words written hundreds of years ago, the Constitution. I’m not saying rebellion, killing, and outright disrespect is the only way to do this but, come on. A man was just ambushed and murdered by the same groups of people we teach our children not to fear. When is enough, enough? That man stated many times he loved his land, his life, his ranch, and his country. He didn’t want to die like this. It makes me sick when I read the ongoing articles stating, “He wanted to die by something called suicide by cops”.After watching the live footage of what happened, it was obvious these few patriots only wanted freedom of oppression regarding their land. I’d have driven off too in order to protect myself and those I LOVED from being outright gunned down in the middle of that highway. Anyone who loves life like he did would have done the same but why aren’t the Feds stating they shot at that vehicle as it was stopped the first time which is why the group drive off?!?! It’s little ” pieces” of information like this that they are failing to mention and yet, they are the MOST IMPORTANT parts.I’ve already said way more than I intended. Lastly, I want to say, I’m really proud of these courageous individuals for speaking up and fighting for the rights we had that are being taken from us every single day. If more were like them, maybe, just maybe America would be a much better place to live. Maybe we would breathe a bit easier about our children’s freedoms when they become upstanding citizens. And, maybe, human life, the most VALUABLE THING WE EACH HAVE would be respected and valued a lot more than it is now.

    • R L Grimes | 02/02/2016 at 10:51 pm | Reply

      Just remember, we are only small and insignificant when we chose to be. If we stay united and enforce our rights under the Constitution, we are the mightiest force in the nation. No one, not even the government is above the law. Those that fail to follow it will eventually face justice at the hands of those they have suppressed.

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