Local County Sheriff Tells Oregon Domestic Terrorists ToÂ End Standoff 'Peacefully'
Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan, who have been leading a small group of militiamen occupying a federal installation since Saturday, say they are prepared to stay there for years. Today the local sheriff let them know he has another idea: "Go home."
Harney County SheriffÂ David Ward told reporters Monday afternoon that the standoff with the militia "has had a significant impact" on the community of about 7000 people, most of them in Burns, Oregon.Â
Schools there were shuttered for the week as soon as the occupation by the group, which now has named themselves Citizens For Constitutional Freedom, began. The federal government shut down nearby offices and buildings, and the local county courthouse was closed for safety concerns as well.
"Our goal is to work together to restore calm and regular services for the people we serve," Ward said, noting that the "incident originally started when people from outside the state arrived in an attempt to prevent the Hammonds from returning to prison."
The Hammonds are father and son ranchers today reported back to federal prison today after serving a previous sentence on arson charges.
Ward said the Bundys' "peaceful protest" has turned into an "an armedÂ occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge."
"I want to directly address the people at the wildlife refuge," Ward announced. "You said you were here to help the citizens of Harney County. That help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed and unlawful protest."
"The Hammonds have turned themselves in. It is time for you to leave our community. Go home, be with your own families and end this peacefully."
Via Twitter, those opposed to the Bundy occupation voiced similar responses:
@Ammon_Bundy Why don't you get the fuck out of my state and go home, traitor.â€” David Piper (@atqdave) January 4, 2016
@Ammon_Bundy Go home, you are not welcome in Harney County or in Oregon!â€” Wildchild (@W1ldChld) January 4, 2016
@Ammon_Bundy Go home already! That's public land, not yours to exploit!â€” Justin (@jbchapy) January 4, 2016
@Ammon_Bundy yet people are so scared they closed schools? Go home! You and your bigot friend Jon are not welcome here!â€” April esry (@EsryApril) January 4, 2016
Screenshot and Video via The Oregonian